What do you do in the event of an auto accident? Are you prepared to get the correct information and do the things necessary to ensure that your claim process will run efficiently?
When an accident occurs, we often go into a state of panic. Unfortunately, your auto may be disabled and rendered inoperable. Where do you have it towed, what information do you need, and what happens next?
The single most important step at the scene of the accident is to exchange information with the other party. The information to provide the other person and to request in return is as follows:
- Phone number
- Their insurance company and agent contact information
- Policy number
- The year, make, and model of vehicle
You do not want to discuss or provide any of the coverage limits of the auto policy.
Furthermore, these additional steps will aid you in developing a complete overview of the accident:
- Take pictures of your vehicle and the other involved vehicles at the accident scene. Pictures are worth a thousand words and help considerably. Be sure to include the license plate number of the other vehicles.
- Call the police. Depending if the accident occurred on public or private property, the police may or may not respond, but a police report is always preferable and beneficial if possible. The detail on a police report helps determine responsibility.
- If your vehicle is non-drivable after the accident and needs towed, it is best to have it taken directly to a body shop where repairs will be administered. Most insurance companies have preferred body shops which you can find online. It is best not to have it moved to the towing company’s storage facility.
- Have your auto insurance with an agent such as Williamson Insurance. When you do, you can call us and report the accident immediately and seek advice on the steps to follow. As agents, we can aid in dealing with your claim and will help you understand the process.
- Notify us if medical care was required as a result of the accident. You may need to establish a claim under your own policy to handle medical bills that could arise while the claim is still being settled with another party.
In some cases, your company itself may not be able to assist you with your claim. For instance, your policy may not have collision coverage and the other party in the accident is at-fault. This is where an agent can be beneficial. There are accidents when others deny their responsibility, in which case, an agent can help you sort out the facts and recommend next steps. The situation you do not want is to be handling a claim yourself with an adversarial attitude. Let us, as your agent, help you with this.
Other considerations to bear in mind are the purchase of rental reimbursement if you are dependent on your vehicle and an accident disables your car. This coverage will provide you a substitute auto while your car is being repaired. If you do not have collision coverage on your auto policy, be sure you opt to carry coverage for uninsured motorist property damage. This will provide you funds for the repair of your vehicle should you be in an accident with another party that is driving uninsured. If your vehicle warranty or lease agreement requires that you replace any damage with original factory parts, be sure that you have purchased original equipment manufacturer (OEM) coverage to allow for this provision.
The above recommendations are just some of the benefits that you will experience when you work with Williamson Insurance as your insurance agent. If you are uncertain about your coverage or need an advocate who can advise and help you when accidents occur, contact Williamson Insurance at one of our convenient Central Ohio locations.