Road Traffic Accidents in Panama

Find out what to do in the event of an accident on the roads in Panama…

By law, third party basic liability (cobertura obligatoria/cobertura básica) insurance is required for all drivers in Panama.

Road accidents in Panama are frequent, although usually benign. The law in Panama states that drivers involved in an accident must remove their vehicle from the place where the accident took place. However, those involved in an accident generally remain in the same place until the insurance company or traffic police (Transito) arrive.

Insurance companies usually respond faster than the police, and it is they who fill out forms and take photographs following an accident.

In the event of a serious accident, with injuries:

  • Tel: 911 (ambulance) / 104 (police)

Accident Report Form

A copy of the official Accident Report Form (Formato de Accidente) should be kept in the vehicle at all times and given to the insurance company agent at the site of the accident. They will then fill it out with a description of the accident and any damage incurred.

The Accident Report Form is used for minor accidents when one of the parties admits guilt. Otherwise, a police report is issued. The information detailed on both reports is similar: driver's details, vehicle information and insurance details for all parties involved. The insurance representative will ensure that sufficient information has been collected to file a claim.

If an insurance agent is not present following an accident and a policy holder wishes to make a claim on the accident, they have 72 hours in which to do so. Claims must be made at the insurance office with the following documentation:

  • passport
  • driving license
  • auto repair quotes (if applicable)
  • either a police report or an Accident Report Form (depending on the severity of the collision)
Information supplied by Licda. Maria del Carmen Dunkley, Ejecutiva de Cuentas Tel: (507) 322 1605, Fax: (507) 270 3424, e-mail