By now you’ve probably discovered why you need auto insurance. It’s required by law, it offers great financial protection, and will ensure you are taken care of if involved in an accident.
Almost everybody is involved in an accident at least once in their time on the road. Sometimes you will be found at fault, some times not. While almost everyone carries auto insurance, few people know how to handle the situation the first time it occurs.
If you are the parent of a new driver, make sure you discuss the appropriate actions to take should an accident occur.
If the collision didn’t cause any serious damage to you, your vehicle, or the other party, there usually isn’t a reason to get the police department involved. However, if medical attention is required, or if you aren’t sure who is to blame, you may need the authorities there to mediate the situation.
There are a few vital pieces of information that all involved parties should exchange. These details will make it easy to file a claim when you get home. You will need their name and phone number as far as personal information goes. For extra measure, you may write down their driver license number.
You will also need their vehicle and insurance information. Their license plate number, year, make, and model of the vehicle should also be noted.
Unfortunately not everybody has auto insurance. And unless you chose to have comprehensive coverage or un/underinsured motorist property damage coverage when opening your policy, you are likely going to have to pay out of pocket if at fault.
If the other party is at fault, then they will have to pay for the damages without the aid of auto insurance as well.
Filing a Claim
At the first available time you will have to file a claim with your insurance company. Make sure you have all your details on hand. If you got the police involved also have the case number close at hand.
You will be asked to describe the scenario as best you can. If you think you may forget specific details, keep a pen and paper at hand to jot down any miscellaneous details such as street names, what lane you were in, etc. These are all important bits of information that may be critical to filing a claim.
The will probably ask for the other driver’s information. After this point it’s largely out of your hands. The 2 auto insurance companies will talk and you’ll have to wait for a response back.
Being the not-at-fault driver actually requires a little more work. You will have to drive to one of their claim centers to appraise the damage, or they may be able to come to you. Usually within a few days you will have a check in hand to repair any damage.