I was recently hit by a car while riding my bike home from work, and the police determined that the driver was at fault and wrote her a ticket. She is insured, and presumably has enough liability coverage to take care of my damages (mainly bike repair/damaged clothing, etc. and no serious injuries).

However, she has insisted that she will just write me a check for the damages and doesn't want to go through insurance. Her exact quote from our email exchange was "I am not reporting to insurance. Long story."

I'm conflicted about this because on the one hand, I'm getting reimbursed either way, but on the other, she seems to just want this problem to go away and may be affecting generosity to avoid higher premiums.

Is there a legal, or at least ethical, obligation to report this to her insurance company?

3 Answers 3


She damaged you - your beef is with her.

If she has insurance, the choice of is she wants to claim or not is up to her. She is not obliged to make a claim and probably not obliged to tell her insurer about it. Perhaps she has a $20,000 excess. Perhaps she is a person not covered by the policy (too young or otherwise excluded) Perhaps she is (legitimately) concerned that making claims will increase her premium.


There is no legal requirement for either party to report a loss to their insurance company: the only legal obligation is to report an injury or property damage above a certain dollar amount to the police. Especially when a person is demonstrably at fault, making a liability claim against an insurance policy is likely to have negative repercussions (either raising of rates or even cancelling of policy). Since ultimately her obligation is to you, her insurance company only indemnifies her against her loss – if she wants to be indemnified.


I'd wonder about the situation where a person (a) has no money, (b) hates you, (c) is insured, (d) causes huge genuinely accidental damage, and refuses to contact their insurance to prevent your damage from being paid.

On the other hand, in most countries the purpose of 3rd party liability insurance is that victims get paid, so I would assume that the person's insurance will have to pay you anyway.

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