If you’ve been in an auto accident, one item on your “to do” list is contacting your insurance company as soon as you can. While accidents are stressful, it’s important to get your ducks in a row so your insurance claim can be processed, which will be one less thing you have to worry about.
Why Reporting a Car Accident is Important
In addition to obtaining a police report for your auto accident, you’ll need to report it to your insurance company so they can begin to process your claim. Your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits will kick in, especially for your initial medical visits and evaluations. Details may be lost over time, so it’s crucial to get all of the info collected and your account of the accident written down as soon as you can, so when it’s time to phone your insurance company, you’ll have everything right there in front of you as you make your auto accident report.
Details You Need to Report
When you report your car accident, there are certain details you’ll want to share with your auto insurance company. Of course, you’ll want to have this information for yourself, your car, and your passengers, but it’s crucial to gather this info from the other driver as well.
- Date and time
- Driver name
- Car owner’s name (if different from the driver)
- Passenger name and address
- Year, make and model of vehicle(s) involved
- Witness names and addresses
- Insurance information
- Weather conditions
- Road conditions
- License plate number
In addition to the above, take photos of the accident itself. Snap a pic of your car, the other car, the debris field, and any personal injuries.
What to Say to Your Insurance Company
When you phone your auto insurance company, be prepared to go over the information you’ve gathered. Once you inform them that you’ve been in an accident, they’ll know what to do, what questions to ask, and what they’ll need to proceed with your claim. They may have someone else phone you back later, so keep all your info in one handy place for easy access.
Take down the name and number of who you’re speaking with, and remember that it’s important to stay calm and report facts — although you may be angry or upset, don’t vent your feelings to an insurance adjuster. Avoid admitting fault for the accident, and don’t interject comments that lay blame on the other party. Facts are your friends, which is why your documentation of people, vehicles and road conditions are so important.
Benefits of Proper Accident Documentation
Proper accident documentation can be a huge benefit when it comes to auto accident insurance coverage because your auto insurance company will better be able to assist you with an accurate record of the accident. The details included in your documentation will help your insurance company handle your claim in a prompt and effective manner.
While car accidents can be stressful and frightening, gathering documentation and noting details will go a long way towards an expedient auto accident insurance claim.