When calling insurance after an accident, make sure you have information about everything that happened. Providing as much detail as possible can help when filing a claim.
what should you do after a car accident?
If you are involved in a car accident, you may be wondering what to do next. To make sure you’re safe and fully covered, follow these steps:
- check for injuries. if you are injured, call 911 or have someone else call. if you think you are seriously injured, avoid moving and wait for help. check your passengers if you can.
- seek safety. move to the side of the road or sidewalk if possible. stop your vehicle if it is drivable and causes a hazard where it is. otherwise, leave the car in its place and be safe.
- Contact the police. It is important to call the police, and some states require you to do so after an accident. officers will complete an accident report and document the scene. If officers can’t get to the scene of the accident, go to the nearest police station and file a report yourself.
- exchange information. share information with the other driver. The Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends that you obtain the individual’s full name, contact information, insurance company and policy number, driver’s license number, license plate number, vehicle description and the location of the accident.
- document the accident. In addition to collecting information about the driver, document the accident. identify officers by name and badge number, get a copy of the accident report, take pictures from different angles, write down the names of all passengers, and talk to witnesses.
- You may want to file a claim. If you experience accident-related injuries, such as whiplash, or if a dent or scratch affects the resale value of your vehicle, You can reconsider filing a claim.
- The other driver may file a claim. If you fail to report the accident, your insurance company may deny any claims or will not represent you if the other driver files a lawsuit. then you are forced to pay out of pocket.
- the type of claim
- the amount of money claimed
- your insurance company
- your claim history
- your location
- if you have accident forgiveness
when should you contact your insurer?
After completing the steps above, contact your insurer no matter who is at fault. you may want to contact your agent while you are at the scene of the accident to find out what they need to process your claim correctly.
Reasons to contact your insurance company include:
The only time you may not want to contact your insurance company is if you only caused damage to your vehicle, caused minimal property damage, and no one was injured.
why should you call your insurance company ASAP?
To ensure you have the benefit of your policy coverage, you must contact your insurance company and report the accident. it’s best to do it right away, otherwise your insurer may deny coverage.
The only type of coverage that does not require you to contact your insurer within a reasonable period of time is uninsured/underinsured motorist (um/uim) coverage. If the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance or coverage to pay for his loss, this coverage could kick in.
When you contact your insurer, pay attention to what they talk about. tell your agent you were involved in an accident, provide general background information, but avoid mentioning fault until you consult an attorney. politely decline to give a statement until later.
what are the disadvantages of filing a car insurance claim?
According to wallethub, a fault claim can increase your premium by 40% on average. If your annual premium is about $1,500, it would increase by about $600 after the accident. it would also take three to five years for rates to decline. How much your rate increases depends on several factors, including:
The two most important factors on this list are the type and amount of claims. the type of accident will cause your premium to go up more, especially if the damages exceed $2,000.
As unfair as it may seem, insurers can raise your rates after a claim, even if you didn’t cause the accident. insurance companies charge based on risk, and statistics show you’re more likely to file a claim after you’ve recently filed.
Which company should you file the claim with?
If you are not at fault for the accident and have standard liability insurance but no collision coverage, you should file a claim with the other driver’s company. Liability coverage pays for damages and injuries caused to property and people by an at-fault driver. if you are not at fault, you will not use liability coverage. instead, the other driver’s liability coverage kicks in.
However, filing with someone else’s insurer has its drawbacks. the other insurer will investigate her claim and confirm who is at fault.
The insurer generally denies fault if you don’t file a police report. If her claim is denied and she doesn’t have collision coverage, she can take the insurer to court, which takes time and money. insurance companies know that the later the case takes, the more likely it is to settle.
If you have collision insurance, you can file a claim with your company or the other driver’s insurer. filing with your insurance company begins the subrogation. your insurer pays for the property damage you caused and seeks compensation from the other driver’s insurer.
Collision insurance does not cover injuries, but your insurer may be able to establish the other driver’s fault through subrogation. if so, the other company could pay for your medical bills and property damage. Your insurer will only pay for your injuries if you have personal injury protection or medical payments coverage.
Make sure you know what type of coverage you have before contacting your insurer after an accident. your insurer is there to help you in case of an accident, but you need to do your part and provide as much information as you can.
Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on auto insurance.
what to do at the scene of an accident | iii.org
Should I call my insurance company after a minor accident? | wallethub.com
car insurance | caranddriver.com
What does liability insurance cover? | caranddriver.com
how to deal with insurance after an accident | caranddriver.com