How long do I have to file a claim with my car insurance?

I was in a minor fender bender a few days ago and completely forgot to file a claim. Is it too late? How long do I have to file a claim with my car insurance?

Nick Kunze · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
I’m so sorry to hear about your fender bender. Each state has its own
deadline for filing a claim
. Most states give you at least one year, but it’s better to file sooner rather than later.
These deadlines exist because it can take time for injuries or damage to appear after the accident. Also, different types of claims have different deadlines. Before you look up your state’s deadline, you’ll need to figure out what kind of damage you are dealing with:
  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Collision damage
  • Comprehensive damage
Even if your state allows you to wait several years, it’s better to file the claim much earlier—if you wait a long time after the accident, your insurance company may get suspicious and deny your claim.
If you’re unhappy with your current insurance coverage, the insurance broker app
can personalized quotes to help you find the best, most affordable policy. Sign-up is free and only takes a minute.
View full answer 
Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

Join 4M+ members in lowering their car insurance

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings