Let’s say you’ve been in a car accident, big or small, what do you do first? Car accidents can get pretty chaotic, even if it’s just a minor fender bender. Following the basic steps lined out below can help make filing your insurance claim fun as smoothly as possible.
Safety first. Before thinking about car insurance, take a minute to make sure everyone involved is safe. If there are any injuries call an ambulance immediately. Make sure your cars are out of harms way, and if they are still running, move them off to the shoulder or a safe area. Stay calm, getting upset can only make the situation worse.
Get off the Road. If the accident is a minor fender bender it is okay to move the cars off to the side of the road. If your vehicle will not move, or it will cause further damage to move it, leave it where it is and get to a safer area. Once you’re in a safe area it is okay to start gathering information from the other driver.
Get the driver’s information. Speak to the other driver involved in the accident. Make sure they are okay, but be careful what you say. Admitting fault and other parts of your conversation could be used against you when insurance companies get involved. Your car insurance company will need the other driver’s information to start processing your claim. Here are some of the key things about the other driver to write down somewhere:
- Full Name
- Phone Number
- Email Address
- Year, Make Model of their Vehicle and their License Plate Number
- Their Insurance Company Name and Policy Number
It can also be helpful to take photos of the damage done to your vehicle, their vehicle, the location where it happened and a picture of the people involved with the accident. If the accident was larger and there were other “witnesses” to the accident, get their information if possible too. If there was a police officer involved with the accident get their information and the police report number if applicable.
After you have gathered all the information you should be able to start the claim process. Call your insurance company immediately and start your claim. With the right car insurance policy, filing a claim should be pretty fast and easy. Your insurance agent should be able to help you figure everything out and get you back on the road soon.