Insurance Claims

Do not be intimidated in dealing with insurance companies. Your automobile insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company. Your insurance company agrees to provide certain services in return for the monthly or annual premiums you pay them. It is your money and your contract with the insurance company. Be persistent. Do not allow your insurance company to minimize the claim situation.

When you contact your insurance company to place a claim for damage to a vehicle in an accident in which you were at fault, you are the “insured.” When you contact the insurance company of the driver of another vehicle in an accident for which you are NOT at fault, you are the “claimant.”

For more information regarding the requirements of your insurance provider refer to the NYS DMV info page

If You Have an Accident

What must I do at the accident scene?

If you are in an accident, you must stop and exchange information with the involved drivers. If the accident caused property damage only, then exchange information about your driver license, insurance, and registration with the involved drivers. If a parked vehicle or other property is damaged, or if a domestic animal is injured, you must locate the owner or contact the police.

  • If the property damage of any person is $1,000 or more, all the involved drivers must file form MV-104 (Report of Motor Vehicle Accident). File form MV-104 with the DMV no more than 10 days after the accident. The DMV can suspend your driver license if you fail to report an accident.
  • If a person is injured or killed, immediately notify the police. All the involved drivers and the police must file an accident report with the DMV. It is a crime to leave the scene of an accident that causes personal injury or death.
  • The accident appears on the records of all the involved drivers. An accident listed on your driver record does not indicate that you were at fault. The DMV does not try to determine fault in an accident.

How do I get a copy of my accident report?

  • Call or visit the local police agency or precinct where the accident occurred, or the State Police troop headquarters where the accident was reported. Ask the agency if your report is available and what the fee is.
    – or –
  • To get a copy from the DMV, use form MV-198C (Request for Copy of Accident Report). You must certify that you have a permissible use, which is defined in the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.