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Police Across Country Are Taking Fewer and Fewer Accident Reports

Body Shop Business Staff Writers - January 20, 2016


According to an article published in PropertyCasualty360, fewer and fewer police departments across the country are responding to and reporting auto accidents due to shrinking operating budgets and more demands on protecting communities from civil unrest as well as domestic and foreign terrorism.

Media reports indicate that states that have been affected over the last 18 months include Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Nevada, Texas and Virginia. PropertyCasualty 360 stated that “private discussions with chiefs of police from New York to California reveal similar intentions.”

In these areas, police will now respond only in cases involving serious injury, criminal activity, hazardous materials or suspicious circumstances.

This is problematic for insurance companies, which count on police reports to independently substantiate damage, determine fault or negligence, etc. New potential solutions for insurers to obtain required accident information include:

  • Asking policyholders to take damage photos on scene and self-report.
  • Incurring the additional costs of staff, company inspection centers or independent appraisal resources.
  • Trusting collision repair shops to inspect, document, estimate and repair the damage honestly and fairly.
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