You are probably very careful not to get involved in a car accident. Nevertheless, even the most experienced and careful drivers still figure in some road mishaps. Are you prepared in case you get caught in one?
Presence of mind and knowing the right thing to do right after the accident can speed up the whole insurance claims process. If you are prepared, you can be back on the road in no time. However, if you find yourself caught in a car accident, you can follow these rules to make auto insurance claims easier and fast.
1. Remain calm, turn off your engine and see if your passengers are alright. The life and safety of everyone involved in the accident is much too important than the vehicles themselves.
2. Call 911 or the police and inform them of the accident, where it happened, the number of vehicles and people involved, the injured (if any) and the types of injuries.
3. You should take some safety measures to protect yourself, your passengers (if any), and your vehicle from further damage. If possible and where allowed, move the vehicles to the road’s side and turn on the hazard lights especially at night. Safety flares can help a lot and you can use them to signal oncoming vehicles to prevent further mishaps.
4. Always keep a pen and notepad handy inside your glove compartment and be ready to jot down the details of the accident as soon as safety measures are in place.
o The time, date and location of the car accident
o What caused the accident? How did it occur? A rough sketch will help a lot especially during an investigation.
o Your vehicle model, plate number and where the damage is located
o The other car(s) involved and their plate numbers and the damages taken. Also note if other properties were damaged.
o The names of all drivers and passengers. Be sure to get their addresses and contact numbers.
o Driver’s license number and information of all victims.
o Names of insurance company, policy number and related information.
o Witnesses’ names, addresses and contact information.
o The names and badge number of responding police officers.
5. You can ask the police officer about the accident report, where and when to get it. Accident reports will be needed when you file for an insurance claim so it’s better to have a copy ready.
6. Call your insurance company as soon as possible and inform them about the accident because the sooner they are informed about the accident, the faster they can go to work to settle your claim.
In addition, your insurance company can guide you to the next steps, such as whom to call to have your vehicle towed and by sending an adjuster to come over to assess the damage of the vehicle for repair.
7. For reasons of security, here are some “don’ts” you may do well to consider.
o Don’t discuss any financial detail regarding your auto insurance policy with anybody except the police officer or your insurance company representative.
o Don’t talk about the circumstances of the accident except with the persons indicated above.
Vehicular accidents take a lot out of everybody involved. Be sure to remember and apply these rules for a faster and smoother accident insurance claim processing.