5 Reasons Why You Should Never Accept Payment at the Scene of an Accident:
Boom! It happens in a blink of an eye; when cars collide emotions – and money – flies. Between filing a police report, a claim with the insurance company, and speaking with appropriate parties, the aftermath of a car accident can be unsettling and time-consuming for everyone involved.
This is why some people try to settle at the scene by either offering cash payment for damages or writing a check. Both options of settling up, while tempting, should be refused for a number of reasons.
Even if the money offered for compensation is enough to cover damages, you don’t know whether or not the money offered is real or fake till after the fact. The at-fault party may pass you a bad check or the cash offered may be fake.
In turn, you’re left with a damaged vehicle without means of paying for it.
No Alternative Transportation
A rental car can serve as alternative transportation, but you would have to pay for it out of pocket. Failure to report a claim via your insurance company nullifies any substitute transportation coverage as listed on your policy.
More Damage Than What Appears
The check or cash presented may not accurately represent the true value of damage to the vehicle. For example, if an at-fault party hits your rear bumper but lifts your vehicle off the ground in the process, they’re maybe more damage underneath than what can be seen by the human eye.
Alternatively, when a claim is filed, an appraiser will come down and access the true damage to the vehicle and assign a value for said damage.
While some people may want to avoid going through the insurance company because they have a bad record and don’t want to get a surcharge. Others may want to be sneaky by convincing you to accept their money and then turn around and file a false police report claiming that you “fled” the scene.
You don’t know their true motives, which is why you should always do things by the books.
This last one goes without saying. Any accident is required by law to be reported to the insurance company and a police report must be filed along with it.
It’s in your best interest to follow the law. Besides which, auto insurance is designed to protect your assets in the event of an accident. Why not use it to your advantage?