Imagining ourselves in the aftermath of a car wreck is not what most of us ever want to do. But with how often I hear auto claims taken, I feel it is necessary to be prepared for the possibility.
I myself always worried about the day I would come to our office and get a call from my spouse that he was in an accident. Well just a few weeks ago, as I pulled into our parking lot here in Kokomo, he called with just that issue. He was panicked and in shock from the car wreck.
I spent that morning at work helping him deal with the aftermath, what to do and expect. I realize it’s something I’d never talked to him about, and I feel more people should have a general idea about how to deal with an automobile insurance claim.
So when that fateful day comes that you are in a car wreck, the first thing to do is stay calm. Assess the damage or injuries. If you are hurt, call for help.
Call the police, and wait at the scene for them to fill out a full police report. As part of filling out the report, he will want your insurance card, or proof you carry auto insurance. If you forget it, you can always call us for the policy number.
Do not discuss the accident with other parties, just the police. Don’t admit fault or liability at the scene. Record proof of the accident with a picture on your phone.
The police officer should collect everyone’s information and put it in the police report, which you will have to pay to receive. It’s a good idea while you’re at the scene to get the other party’s information – Name, Phone Number (which won’t be on the police report), Auto Insurance Company and policy number.
Consider keeping something in your glove box for gathering this information, like our helpful “Be Prepared Before A Car Accident” brochure (part of your welcome packet). We can always give you another copy if you stop by our office here in Kokomo, Indiana.
After you leave the scene, if you realize you are hurt, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Call us, your agents at Killingbeck Insurance, to file a claim as soon as you are able. Because it is the law to carry car insurance, you must file proof of insurance any time you are in an accident. We can submit proof for you, but not unless you call!
If the other party is at fault, we will file the claim with both your own insurance company and the other party’s company. While this may seem odd, it is in your best interest to do this. If any legal disputes or major issues come up, you have your own insurance company to help you.
Then you play the waiting game, waiting for adjuster’s to call you. They will want your statement of what happened. Feel free to take your car to your preferred garage for an estimate while you’re waiting, but don’t get anything fixed. They may want to see the car to get an estimate. The company will need to see the proof of damage, or at least the estimate, before approving repairs.
Remember, if you have any questions or problems with your claim, feel free to call us.
Photo Credit: “Car accident” by State Farm. Original. Flikr. CC BY 2.0.