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Can someone claim on my car insurance without me knowing?

It is unlikely that anyone will file a claim on your car insurance without your knowledge — unless you were at fault in a hit-and-run accident.

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By

Rachael BrennanRachael BrennanSenior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance ExpertRachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

Edited by

Anna SwartzAnna SwartzSenior Managing Editor & Auto Insurance ExpertAnna Swartz is a senior managing editor and auto insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our car insurance coverage. Previously, she was a senior staff writer at Mic.com, as well as an associate writer at The Dodo.

Published|3 min read

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The idea of finding out someone filed a claim against your car insurance policy without you knowing can be scary. If that ever happened, it could potentially cause an increase in your rates that could last for years, and if the claim were fake, it could take a lot of time and effort to correct.

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But filing a car insurance claim requires a lot of information, and filing a fake claim for an accident that didn’t happen is a type of insurance fraud. This means the odds are good nobody will file a claim on your car insurance without you being aware of it, and if someone files a claim on your car insurance, it’s probably because you caused an accident.

Key takeaways

  • It is very unlikely that someone will file a claim against your car insurance without you being aware of it.

  • Your car insurance company will notify you if someone has filed a claim against your insurance policy.

  • If you were at fault in an accident, even if you don’t think anyone saw it, you should expect a claim to be filed against your car insurance policy.

Can someone make a claim on my car insurance without me knowing?

No, it is very unlikely that someone will file a claim against your car insurance without you knowing about it. 

Generally, if you cause an accident or hit someone’s car, you’ll exchange insurance information at the scene so they can file a claim with your insurance to cover the damage, and you’ll know about every step of the process. But there is one big exception to this rule: if you are at fault in a hit-and-run accident.

Given the number of security cameras in any given place, at-fault drivers are likely to be caught for hit-and-run accidents or hitting parked cars

So even if you think no one saw, you should never drive away from the scene of an accident without reporting it. And remember that it is possible for someone to get your insurance information from the police after filing a report. They can use that information to file a third party claim against you if they have video or eyewitness evidence that you damaged their car.

But either way, a claim against you won’t be a secret for long — your car insurance company will always notify you that a claim was filed against your policy. 

What happens when someone makes a claim on your insurance?

When someone puts in a claim on your insurance, they reach out to your insurance company with your name, policy number, and the details of the accident to begin the process of filing a claim

If you were at fault in an accident, you shouldn’t be surprised when a claim is filed against you. In fact, you should tell your insurance company that you were in an accident before the other driver or their insurance company reaches out about filing a claim with your insurer.

Once the claim is filed, your insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to your case and begin assessing who was at fault for the accident. 

In no-fault states, drivers can file a claim against their own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for bodily injury claims, but property damage claims will still be filed against the at-fault driver’s property damage liability coverage.

How will I know if a car insurance claim is made against me?

Car insurance companies will always tell you if someone files a claim against you. You will most likely receive a written notice in the mail telling you that a claim has been filed against you and what your next steps should be.

If you are someone who doesn’t check their mail regularly or is afraid they might miss something important, contact your insurance company and find out what other options may be available to you. Some insurance companies may allow you to opt out of paper mail and get email notifications instead. 

How to dispute an insurance claim against you

If someone has filed a car insurance claim against you that you don’t agree with, or they’re claiming damage that you don’t think you caused, there are a few steps you need to take to dispute the claim.

  1. Put it in writing: Send a written notice to your insurance company explaining what about the insurance claim is wrong and why you disagree with it. Whether you’re saying the other driver is actually at fault in the accident or telling the insurance company the claim is fraudulent, you always need to put it in writing. 

  2. Provide proof: If you were in an accident, send in copies of photos, police reports, and other information that proves your side of the story is correct. If someone is filing a fraudulent claim, you may need to provide receipts, videos, or other information that can prove you were not at the scene of the accident.

  3. Follow the rules: Many insurance companies have a specific process for disputing a claim — make sure you are doing things according to the rules so your dispute isn’t overlooked.

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Frequently asked questions

What happens if you or someone you know lies about an insurance claim?

Depending on the type and severity of the crime, if an insurance company or a government agency such as the FBI or the National Insurance Crime Bureau decide to prosecute you over insurance fraud, you could serve between six months and five years in prison and pay up to $50,000 in fines.

What are some examples of insurance fraud?

Filing a false claim, destroying your own car for the insurance money, and lying about how much damage was caused in an accident so you get a higher insurance payout are all examples of insurance fraud.

What should I do if a false car insurance claim is made against me?

You can dispute a claim if you believe it is fraudulent or that you are not solely at fault. Your insurance company will contact you if a claim is made against you, so there should never be a situation where you aren’t aware of any claims that are being processed against your insurance.

What should you not say when claiming car insurance?

If you’re filing a claim or discussing a claim made against your insurance, just be straightforward and honest about the facts of the accident. Don’t try to assign blame to either party, that’s the insurance company’s job. Instead, tell the truth about what happened, respond to requests quickly, and provide any required documents or photos.

Author

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

Editor

Anna Swartz is a senior managing editor and auto insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our car insurance coverage. Previously, she was a senior staff writer at Mic.com, as well as an associate writer at The Dodo.

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