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Does a crash report need to be complete before reporting it to insurance?

A case number is all you need to begin a claim

This week’s viewer wanted to know, “Am I required to wait until the crash report is complete in order to report it to my insurance?”

Depending on what police department completes your crash investigation, will determine on what type of paperwork you’re going to get.

What I mean by that is either a police agency is going to give you a business card with a case number on it or might print you what we call a “short copy” of the report with the pertinent information on it.

Something to keep in mind is this is not the finished crash report. The case number provided allows you to get the ball rolling with your car insurance company. The average crash report is not complete until three to 10 days after the crash has occurred. This allows not only the officer or trooper to complete the paperwork but allows it to go through the proper supervisory channels before being completed.

After providing your insurance company with the case number this will allow them to begin your claim. If they want a complete crash report they would request it through the investigating agency on their own.

You can notify your insurance the second you have a case number. Some officers will have you reach out to them on scene in some cases when a tow truck is needed.


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