A car accident can be traumatic for any driver. Even if the damage is minor and there are no injuries, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the moment and overlook important claims details.
While there is no set protocol for every accident, there are important actions that can be taken to assist in creating a smooth claims process. The following are six items that will help ensure accurate and expedited claims service.
1) Ensure Safety. Always first access yourself and passengers in your vehicles for injuries. Only after you have established the well-being of everyone in your vehicle, should you check on the other party. If there are any injuries or an increasingly dangerous situation, attempt to alert authorities or call for help immediately. The safety of anyone involved is always the primary concern.
2) Stay Calm & Be Polite. Most vehicles accidents are unintentional. It is essential to stay calm and treat all parties involved with respect. This will ensure the appropriate information is received and steps to resolve the issue can begin immediately.
3) Call the Authorities. Alert the proper authorities by calling 911 or the police as soon as possible. A police report is always helpful, and trained emergency responders can appropriately manage the situation.
4) Document. While waiting for the authorities, document the accident. Take notes, pictures, and access your insurance company’s mobile application for assistance. It will be important to get details that include the other party’s name and contact information, their insurance company and policy number, their license plate number, and the damage to the vehicle. You should always exchange information with the other party. If possible, it also beneficial to get the names, contact info, and statements from any witnesses.
5) Discussing the Claim. You are not required to discuss the incident with anyone other than the police, your insurance advisor or company, or perhaps your attorney. During any discussions, you should not acknowledge fault of the incident. The details of the incident will be reviewed, in their entirety, and only then will fault be determined. There are often many details to a claim that are not easily recognized at the time of the accident.
6) Start the Claim. As soon as possible, you should contact your insurance advisor or company to start the claims process. Even if the incident is not your fault, it is to your benefit to alert your insurance company. They can work on your behalf and provide important policy information to help settle the claim.
In any accident or claims situation, you have an advocate on your side. The professionals at The Insurance Loft are here for your benefit. Contact your advisor, and we will be happy to offer our expert advice.
April 23, 2017
by Jeff Neuhalfen