No one plans to be in a car accident but chances are you’ll have to make a car insurance claim some day. Are you ready to handle that difficult situation? Just thinking about it ahead of time and knowing what to do are good steps to be prepared, even though we all hope it doesn’t happen to us.
If an Accident Happens, Get the Facts
For a serious accident, police and emergency services will be there as needed and the police report will provide important details. For a less serious accident where there are no apparent injuries, you can ‘steer it and clear it’ to the side of the road and in many areas you can report it to an accident reporting centre within 24 hours. Take photos of other vehicles including license plates before or in case anyone might leave the scene.
To report the accident and for your insurance claim, you will need the following details:
- Names and driver’s license numbers of others involved
- Names of any passengers involved
- Insurance company and policy number of other drivers
- Police officer’s badge number
- Make, model and year of other vehicles
- License plate numbers of other vehicles
- Your description of the accident (make notes for yourself to refer to since claims can take time and/or may be disputed) and take photos of all vehicles and the damage.
For more info on how to handle an accident see our article about What To Do If An Accident Happens.
Should I Make a Claim or Not?
Assuming there are no injuries in the accident, you may want to consider not making a claim in order to avoid potentially higher insurance rates. Since you have to pay the deductible anyway, which might be the first $500 or $1000 depending on what amount you agreed to in your policy, it might not be worth making a claim. Did you know you could speak with an insurance broker for independent advice since they do not work for an insurance company?
What Happens to My Car Insurance Rates?
If this is your first claim, your rates may not go up if you have ‘accident forgiveness’ in your policy. If you don’t have that feature or if this was not your first accident, you could certainly see your rates go up. If you are facing that situation, be sure to shop around for quotes to see if you can find lower rates regardless of prior claims in your insurance history.
Expert Advice for Any Car Insurance Claim
When you’re not sure what to do, feel free to speak with our team of licensed insurance brokers for independent advice and no-obligation quotes. Contact Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers at 1-800-731-2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you with any insurance concern and do the comparison shopping for you.