HOW TO CORRECTLY REPORT AN ACCIDENT TO YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
Car accidents can be extremely traumatic for the people involved. And while it’s easy to panic or rush to decisions, it’s critical to slow down and make the right choices after an accident. If you’re unsure how to report an accident to your insurance provider, this article will provide you with useful advice on the process.
SHOULD I GET IN TOUCH WITH MY INSURANCE PROVIDER?
The answer to this question is dependent on the circumstances of the accident. You need to assess which type of claim you will be attempting to file — there are two options. For those who plan on filing a first party insurance claim, you should get in contact with your own insurance company straight away.
For those who are planning on filing a third-party insurance claim, you should get in touch with the insurance company of the driver that was at fault for the accident (the other driver).
THE REPORTING PROCESS
Once you determine the type of insurance claim you’ll be making, it’s important to get the ball rolling. You should get in touch with the insurance company that provides the insurance coverage. In most cases, you’ll be able to contact the insurance company via telephone or an online claims center. Remember, if it’s a third-party insurance claim, verify the insurance provider information from the other driver.
In many cases, insurance companies will need a detailed account of the accident and the drivers involved. Below is a list of some of the information you may be expected to provide.
- The legal names of the drivers
- The policy dates of the other driver
- The time and location of the accident
- The insurance policy numbers
- The vehicle and driver’s license numbers of all involved (including license plates)
- Information about the accident and how it occurred
Don’t wait to file a claim — if you wait too long, your claim may be barred.
Once the required information is collected, the insurance provider may ask for additional information — such as a police report. The insurance company will also most likely inspect your vehicle. A claims adjuster will be responsible for determining how much you are owed.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Some people make the mistake of oversharing or providing the wrong information. If you do get in an accident, you need to make sure that you understand how to approach the situation correctly. Below are some quick tips to help you avoid problems in the future:
- Slow Down — The shock of an accident can cause you to do things you might otherwise avoid. If you’re planning on submitting a written statement, wait until you’re calm enough to give an honest recollection of the facts. You may want to speak to an attorney before providing any written statements or confirmations.
- Injury Reporting — Don’t rush to report the details of any injuries before seeing a healthcare professional. If you make declarations at the time of the accident, it might not fully encapsulate all your injuries. It’s okay to say your hurt, but go see a doctor before you provide the details.
- Don’t Overshare — The insurance company will ask you a range of questions, there’s no need to provide more information than requested.
- Stay Honest — Exaggerating or changing stories can ruin your chances of a successful claim. Tell the truth.
- Don’t Agree to Quick Settlements — An insurance company may try to undercut you by giving you a quick settlement. You should consult with legal professionals before accepting an agreement.
CAR ACCIDENTS IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA: HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
It is not recommended to handle your own claim. Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to handle the entire claim process while you and your family recover from the accident. It’s certainly recommended not to accept any ‘settlement’ until you speak to a personal injury attorney. Otherwise, you will not know if you are being offered a reasonable amount of money for your case. We did an article on “what to know before signing an insurance agreement“.
NEED MORE HELP? TALK TO THE EXPERTS
If you’ve been in an accident in Arizona, it’s critical to speak to an experienced accident attorney as quickly as possible. This is especially true if you have experienced some form of injury. While not all cases result in a lawsuit, consulting with an attorney is one of the best ways to ensure you’re being treated justly.