You are just driving along listening to the most recent music on the radio, wait who am I kidding… it’s 2015. You are driving along listening to your I-tunes blaring through your blue tooth speakers of your vehicle when BAM…. You are in a car accident.
You are ok but of course shaken, and have no idea what to do. You know that deep down you have thought about what would happen or what steps needed to be completed next but when you are in the situation everything becomes a fuzz. How can I say this?
Well first and foremost… I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to live in the fuzz of not knowing what to do next.
Second… I am an expert in risk management and on the “what to do’s” of insurance. My idea for this is to give you a little bit of insight as to what to do if you are in an accident. What information you will need and most importantly what to expect from a typical claims process. Being in an accident is hard enough… let me help you with the rest.
The 5 most important things to do when you are in a car accident.
- Check if there are any injuries
- If you are hurt or if anyone else is hurt the authorities and 911 should be called immediately. This is to make sure you are giving the medical attention you need and deserve. This is a non-negotiable item. If anyone involved is hurt or complaining of injury it is always best to call 911 for medical attention. Call them first.
- Call the authorities if needed
- In some states the local police or sheriff’s department won’t come out if there are not any injuries. However if you are in a situation where you do not feel safe, feel threatened, or just simply want to file a police report… it is always best to call and let them advise you.
- Exchange Information
- We live in this glorious land where technology helps us stay better organized and gives us access to immediate information. Make sure you have your insurance cards on hand. A lot of companies now also feature a smart phone app where you can always keep your id cards on your phone. If you aren’t sure if this applies to you, call your local independent insurance agent and ask.
- Things you Need to Collect:
- Insurance Information of other party *TIP* Take a picture of the front and back of their id card with your phone. Done and easy.
- Other parties Driver’s License Information- *TIP* Same as above… take a phone front and back.
- Take photos of any damaged areas on both vehicles. This is important because you want to have an assessment of the damage at the scene of the accident. That way if any other further damage is claimed you have proof that you were not responsible for that extra damage after the accident.
- Telephone Numbers of both parties so that way you can give your insurance company a full description and way to contact them.
- If there were witnesses around try to collect their name and phone numbers as well to help your insurance company assess fault in accident.
- Call your local independent insurance agent
- Even if you aren’t sure if you need to file a claim, or if the accident was someone else’s fault, a phone call to your local independent insurance agent is extremely important. You want to tell your agent what happened so they can document your records but most importantly you want to know what happens next. Your local Tucson insurance agent can help point you in the right direction, talk to you about coverage options on your policy, and give you peace of mind that you are taken care of. This is a huge step that most clients miss. You want to make sure to pick up that phone and use your agent… this is the time we shine.
- If you have to file a claim
- Ok so you have talked to your insurance agent and you are going to file a claim. Whether it is against your insurance policy or another party it doesn’t differ too much. Here is what you need to know about the claims process.
- The definition of claim doesn’t mean stress free most wonderful time in your life. Let’s just call it like it is… even if you have the best claims experience ever it is still a less than ideal time in your life you are having to deal with. We as insurance agents get that. So just be understanding in knowing that the claims representative wants to take care of you just as fast as you would like to be taken care of. If you have concerns your needs aren’t being met… Call your independent insurance agent. They can help with the process as well as possibly help answer questions.
- You will be assigned a claims adjuster (typically within 24 hours) and they will give you a claim #. Make sure you write both of those pieces of information down. If you don’t have it your insurance agent will be able to access for you.
- You will have coverage questions, rental car, towing, etc… don’t be afraid to ask. That is what they are there for. If there are questions they can’t answer they will refer you to your agent to ask. We will help.
- This one encompasses a lot. Be educated. Ask what to expect next, ask about other options, settlements etc. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Our job as independent insurance agents is not only to provide you with the best policy and rate out there, but it is also to show you that during your “worst case scenario” we are here to help. Let us. Use us. Car accidents are scary enough, you don’t need to go at it alone.