You pay your auto insurance premium diligently every month but never imagine you will need it. Bu the reason you have insurance is just in case, and sometime “just in case” comes in handy. If you are involved in an auto accident – whether your fault or not – you should follow some basic advice for seeing yourself through the temporary crisis.
- Call 911. Even if no one is hurt, you’ll want to have the incident in an official record. Get a police report, too. Make sure you do not admit fault.
- Document EVERYTHING. Take pictures of the accident scene, damage to your vehicle and the other party’s vehicle, as well as any other property damage. Note the time of the accident as well as any weather factors. Keep a pen and pad or paper in your glove box.
- Move off the road if you can. After noting relative vehicle positions, at least move out of traffic. You don’t want to be the cause of another accident or exacerbate your own situation. If you have safety flares or reflective road triangles, use them.
- Get the other driver’s information. Driver’s license number, license plate number, insurance information, etc. Note if there were any passengers and get their names, too. Also be sure to note any witnesses to the accident. Use your cell phone to take a photo of the other driver’s license and the license plate of the other vehicle.
- Report the incident to your insurance company. Even if you don’t plan on filing a claim, it is important that they have your side of the story in case the other party does.
Another good piece of advice is to talk over your current auto insurance situation with your insurance professional. Take a little time to see what kind of coverage you can expect for yourself and the other driver. Be sure it’s enough for any eventuality. It’s better to be safe now than sorry later.