I Got in a Minor Accident – What Do I Do?

Minor car accident

You got in a minor car accident:

Whenever your car hits another car or something else, pull the car over somewhere safe, and turn on your hazard lights. Insurance is secondary. Take the time to make sure that nobody is hurt. What seems like a minor crash to you may cause injuries to someone else in your car or in another car.

If you have collision coverage, you should be covered for the cost of repairs, minus your deductible.

If nobody’s hurt, but there is a lot of damage:

  1. If there seems to be damage of more than $2,000 (total all cars involved), call the police and wait for them to come to the scene.
  2. Take pictures while you wait, if it’s safe to do so, that show what happened and the extent of the damage.
  3. Exchange insurance information with other drivers involved.
  4. If you were not at fault, try to get contact information for anyone who might have witnessed the crash.
  5. Call your insurance company within 24 hours to report the accident and start a claim (if you have collision coverage).

If nobody’s hurt, and there is minimal damage:

  1. If there seems to be damage of less than $2,000, you may want to follow steps 2, 3 and 4 above, but you don’t need to call police.
  2. Call to report the accident to a collision reporting centre sometime in the following 24 hours.
  3. Call your insurance company within 24 hours to report the accident and start a claim (if you have collision coverage).
Insurance tip

Quick tip: Should I report a minor accident?

When you get in a fender bender, it may be tempting to split costs with the other driver and not report the accident to police or your insurer. By doing that, you could save yourself from premium increases, but you may expose yourself to the following consequences if the other driver or a witness decides to report it:

  • You could be charged with leaving the scene ($2,000 fine)
  • Your insurance company could increase your premium for lying
  • Your insurance company could cancel your policy for lying

It’s your call.

Who’s going to fix my car?

Whenever you make a claim on your car insurance, the insurance company is paying the bill, but it’s up to you to decide who is going to provide the services: towing, body work, rental car etc. If you have a trusted provider for these services, great! If not, here are a few good reasons why you might want to use vendors that are on your insurance company’s list of preferred providers:

Preferred Providers

  1. There won’t be any discrepancy between the body shop’s estimate and what the insurer is willing to pay.
  2. You’ll be protected if the repairs aren’t done properly.
  3. Your claim and repairs may get processed more quickly, which saves you money if you’re paying out of pocket for a car rental.

Call us first: If you get in an accident during business hours, your M&W team can help you navigate the claims process, and even advocate for you with the insurance company. After hours, you should call your insurer directly.


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