With so many people on the road during peak vacation months, it may be a good time to brush up on what you should do in the event you’re involved in a crash. Here are some tips that may save you some time and aggravation.
Preparedness starts before you leave the driveway:
Put a cheap digital camera and pen and paper in your glove box. Car insurance claims can be settled faster if there’s a good record of what happened, and pictures always help. If you can take photographs or collect license plate numbers, or even names and phone numbers of witnesses, these can all help your claims personnel establish facts faster.
If you’re involved in a crash:
- Move your vehicle out of the roadway, if you can. If your car is able to be driven, move it off of the road a safe distance. Most states require that you do this, so it is ok. By getting off the road, you can help to avoid a second collision.
- Turn on your flashers or your lights if there is no hazard of fire. You want to be certain your vehicle is visible to other drivers.
- Check yourself and your passengers for injuries first, and then those of the other vehicle. If someone is injured, call 911 immediately.
- Call local police to report the crash.
- Call your insurance agent or company as soon as possible to report the crash. The earlier your insurance company knows about the crash, the faster it can get to work to resolve your claim.
- Start documenting what happened, if you can. If you’re able to do so safely, take photographs, make notes, ask witnesses for names and phone numbers. If you’re not able to do so safely, stand as far from the roadway— and the crashed cars—as you possibly can.
- Exchange only your insurance company name. Don’t discuss the details of your coverage with anyone at the accident scene, and don’t accept responsibility for anything.
- Exchange vital information with the other driver(s) such as names, addresses, and phone numbers. These are all useful to your insurance company in settling the claim.
“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”