Can I file an insurance claim without a police report?

If you are in a minor car accident without injuries, you can file an insurance claim without a police report.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 21, 2022

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Things to Remember...

  • If you’re involved in a car accident with minor damage and no injuries, you don’t need to file a police report
  • You should file a police report when there’s major damage or injuries
  • You should also file a police report if the other driver flees the scene

It can be troubling to be involved in a car accident, no matter how big or small. If you’re in this situation, you need to know what to do next, and if your vehicle has sustained some damage, how to get it repaired and back on the road. 

Yet, if insurance is involved, what’s the next step, and will you need third-party proof to back you up? In particular, can you file an insurance claim without a police report? This is a question that many people may ask, and we understand why it is so important. 

The answers to these questions are all found below, with special attention to why you will or won’t need to fill out a police report. 

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Filing an Insurance Claim Without a Police Report

It’s not always necessary to file a police report in order to file an insurance claim. However, there are certain circumstances when you should get the police involved and obtain a police report to ensure that you are protected and that your claim can go forward without any delay.

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Dealing With Minor Accidents

Many car accidents are minor and may not involve injuries or other complications. In this situation, you wouldn’t need to bring in the authorities.

When another vehicle is involved, always get the driver’s name, address, phone number, and insurance information. If there are other witnesses, try to get their details as well. It’s a good idea to take photos of any damage.

If there isn’t any significant damage to either vehicle and no injuries, you can contact your insurance company and ask them how to file a car insurance claim. Provide them with the information you gathered, and there should be no complications.

Reasons to Get a Police Report

Sometimes the law in your state will dictate that you should get a police report. There may be other reasons you will need to file a report with the police. Let’s look at some of them.

Injuries or Major Damage

If someone sustained injuries due to the accident, you need to bring in the police. Also, you should get an official report from them if either vehicle sustained major damage. If you’re not sure how to differentiate between “major” and “minor” damage, you should get in touch with the police and aim to get a report. 

Don’t forget that it can often be challenging to determine the true scale of damage, even when it appears to be minimal. After all, a thorough inspection by a mechanic may reveal a twisted subframe or other significant damage, which could result in a larger claim. Again, it’s best to get a police report if in doubt.

Accident on Private Property

Sometimes, an accident happens on private property. For example, two cars may run into each other while maneuvering in a mall parking lot. 

In this situation, police may be reluctant to get involved without good reason and are unlikely to attend a minor crash. 

If your accident occurred on private property and the damage is major, or somebody was injured, you should call the police and get a report for insurance purposes. Of course, your auto insurance should cover accidents on private property.

Another Driver Flees the Scene

If you’re unlucky, the other driver may flee the scene of your accident. This can sometimes happen if they are impaired or may not have adequate insurance. In this case, you’ll need a police report to back up your story before you send a claim to your insurance company. After all, you won’t have the other driver’s details on hand.

Filing an Insurance Claim Without a Police Report

When you contact your insurance company, they may ask you if you have a police report. As outlined above, they do not require you to have one unless the incident was major or had extenuating circumstances. If you have any doubt, it’s always best to get a police report as this may help speed up processing.

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Final Thoughts: Can you file an insurance claim without a police report?

If you’re involved in a minor car accident with minimal damage and no injuries, you don’t need to file a police report. However, an accident with injuries or major damage is different. Without a police report, insurance claim processing may be more difficult or slower. If in doubt, it’s always best to get a police report.

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