Whether you live in an urban city or call a more rural setting your home, you probably spend quite a bit of time behind the wheel of your car. If you are cautious, you will be able to avoid most potential road hazards. However, accidents do occur – whether they are your fault or not. Even if you are a great driver, you could still find yourself dealing with the aftermath of a car accident. That’s why it is important to be prepared with how you should respond to such an incident. We’ve put together this guide to help you through the next steps if you ever find yourself in this situation.
You’ll first need to deal with any pressing matters involving moving your vehicle, calling the police and obtaining medical assistance. If you’d like more information on how to proceed with those steps, the “additional resources” listed at the bottom on this article are a great place to start. Just remember that every accident is different, and the most important thing is ensuring your own personal safety and wellness before you think about anything else. Once you’re certain that all emergency matters have been handled, it is time to start thinking about what you need to do about the accident from an insurance standpoint.
Gather Needed Information
When you are involved in an accident, the next few hours can be critical. It is important to gather the information that your insurance company will need to assist you with your claim. While it may seem like overkill to obtain all this information, realize that the more info you get, the faster and easier your claim will likely process.
Information your insurance company may need includes:
- Your description of the incident
- Information about other parties involved in the accident including:
- Their insurance company
- Insurance policy and expiration date
- Driver’s license number
- Information about the car including make, model and year
- License plate number
- Information from the police report (if there is one), including the name and badge number of any officers who assisted with the case
- Information about witnesses
Much of the information about other parties is available on their insurance “pink slip” given for the accident. If you have your phone, take a picture of this to make the information gathering easier.
Contact Your Broker
It is important to contact your broker as soon as possible after the accident. He or she is there for you and will be the one to initiate the claims process and can assist you if you have any questions or concerns.
Once you’ve turned all the information over to your insurance company, they will begin the process of determining who is at fault. While this may take a little time, rest assured the experts are looking over the scenario to make sure the correct party is charged with the responsibility. You should never admit fault to the other party, or anyone else involved in the case. Let the experts work out the details and make sure the accident is properly categorized.
Getting Your Vehicle Repaired
Chances are, this is the step that is most important to you. Once the insurance company has all the information about the accident and has determined fault, they will work with you to get the vehicle repaired, if it is financially feasible. An adjuster will work with you to obtain an estimate of damages. If the insurer pays for the repair, you can then have it completed. If the vehicle is damaged too severely, it may be “totalled” and you’ll receive a payout for damages.
Hopefully, you never have to reference the above steps, but having the information available to you can make the process a little less stressful. Here at Wayfarer Insurance Group, we are dedicated to making your life easier. If you’d like more information about the insurance options and claims assistance that we offer, reach out to us by phone or online today. We look forward to working with you.