Imagine driving down the road, minding your own business, when all of a sudden, you’re T-boned at an intersection even though you had the right of way.
After a car accident like this, you’re frazzled, unfocused, and anything but calm. Take a few deep breathes and handle the situation correctly, you’ll be much better off when it comes to filing your car insurance claim and getting your car fixed efficiently and affordably.
Here are some tips for handling the situation properly right after it happens.
- Never admit fault.
Do not apologize for the accident or lead anyone to believe that it was your fault. You can still be polite, but do not admit that you caused the accident or this could come back to bite you.
- Be safe.
If possible, move your vehicle off the road or to a safe location away from the flow of traffic. If this isn’t possible because your vehicle won’t move, make sure the engine is off and flip on your hazards. If anyone is injured, call for an ambulance right away, but do not move them.
- Make three phone calls.
In addition to potentially calling an ambulance, you’ll also need to call the police so that they can come and create an accident report. Also, call your insurance agency. Explain that you’ve been in an accident and ask them if your losses will be covered under your plan. See what your deductible is and how long the claims process will take. They’ll explain what to do.
- Collect evidence.
Lastly, gather all the evidence you can. This means getting names, contact information, and insurance information from all involved parties. Talk to eyewitnesses, and take pictures of your injuries, the vehicles, and the scene of the accident as well.
Next Steps: Filing Your Claim
After properly handling the aftermath of the collision, it’s now time to start dealing with the insurance claim process. Your agent will have set the ball in motion when you called them right after the accident. Now it’s up to you to get an estimate on the repairs needed.
To do this, contact your insurance company again and find out where you can take your vehicle to be checked out. If your insurance agency works exclusively with certain auto body shops, it’s best to take your car to one of these locations because repairs will be preapproved, saving you a lot of time and effort.
In some situations, however, insurance agencies won’t have partnered body shops. In these situations, you can choose your own auto body shop, but you’ll need to “okay” the estimate with your insurance company. They may decide to adjust this estimate, so be prepared for that.
While you wait for your car to be fixed, remember that some auto insurance policies come with rental car insurance. If you have rental car insurance, your insurance agency will arrange for you to have a rental car free of additional charge. If the rental agency has a relationship with your insurance company, you might even be able to go right in and have the rental agency bill your insurance company directly. Otherwise, you’ll likely be reimbursed after paying for the rental initially.
Choose the Right Plan That Works for You
Overall, making car insurance claims shouldn’t be a complicated process — but only if you’re working with the right insurance agency and have the right policy. If you’re concerned about the state of your policy, talk to an agent at Vanyo Insurance Group today.