3 min read
Having a car accident can be a frightening experience and many people aren’t sure what do in the event of one, but the key is to stay calm and follow these few simple rules.
Always stop if you are involved in an accident or collision – failing to do is an offence, however minor you think it is.
Make sure your car engine is switched off and hazard lights are turned on to alert other road users of your presence. You should then check yourself or any of your passengers for injuries, in case they need urgent medical attention. If they do, call the ambulance immediately.
Don't apologise or admit responsibility for the accident until you're completely aware of what happened – this can protect you from liability if it wasn't your fault.
Should I call the police?
The police should be called if the car accident is blocking the road or if you feel there was foul play involved, as in if you suspect you’re a victim of a ‘crash for cash’ scam.
They should also be called if:
the other driver leaves the scene without giving you their details.
you think the other driver is under the influence of drugs or drink.
You should always share your name and address with everyone who is involved, if the accident caused damage or injury.
Exchange your insurance details with the other driver.
Find out if the driver of the other vehicle is actually the owner, if not – ask for the owners’ details.
Information to collect
It’s a good idea to collect the following information at the scene:
Make, model and reg number of all vehicles involved
Time and date of the accident
Take note of the driving conditions – was it wet?
Take plenty of photos of the damage done and the position both cars are, as photographic evidence will help towards making a claim, if you need to.
What does it mean to make a claim?
An insurance claim is a formal request made by policyholder (you) to an insurance company for compensation for a loss or damage that you believe is covered by the policy.
The insurance company validates the claim and, once approved, issues payment to you or an approved interested party on your behalf, for example, if you damaged someone else’s car by accident.
Contacting your insurer
It’s best to tell your insurance company about the car accident pretty quickly. Failure to do so within the specified time period in your policy may invalidate you cover, leaving you with a hefty bill to pay for repairs. Always double check, as a time period could be anything from two days to two weeks after.
What you need to make a claim:
Details about the accident.
Your policy number and key information that will identify you like your postcode and car registration number.
The registration numbers of the cars involved in the accident.
The other driver's name, address and phone number as well as their insurance details if you have them.
With our new and improved driver app, you will have access to our Incident Guide in the app itself.
In the event of an accident or if you are reporting a claim, the guide takes you through the information gathering process step by step ensuring you are collecting the most important information, so you don’t have to think about it. You can find out more about the app here.
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