Getting into a car accident is an upsetting and often scary experience. And after the event is over, you’ve still got repairs and the insurance claim to deal with, which can make you feel even more overwhelmed. But don’t worry. Here is a list of some of the do’s and don’ts of making your insurance claim.
Do review everything about the accident.
Assuming there is no medical emergency that needs to be dealt with first, take some time at the scene of the accident to document everything you can. Trade insurance information with any other parties involved, write down exactly what happened as best you can remember it, and take photos of any damage you notice. This will help you later when you contact your insurance company.
Do check to see if you have any additional coverage.
You know you are going to make a claim through your auto insurance, but it is also worth checking to see if you have any additional coverage. You may have extra coverage through your homeowner’s policy or even through your credit cards.
Do be honest about your claim.
Being honest on your insurance claim is extremely important – even if the accident was your fault. If you get caught in a lie, it could lead to your claim being denied.
When you get into a car accident, apologizing often feels like a reflex, but it can also sound like an admission of guilt. Instead of apologizing, you can try asking the other party if they are ok.
Don’t immediately accept your insurer’s estimate of the damage or loss.
Before accepting your insurance company’s appraisal of your losses, take some time to do a little homework yourself and get your own estimates. The damage may be more than the insurer realizes, or they may be deliberately trying to lowball you – either way doing a bit of legwork yourself could save you a lot of money.
Don’t accept a cheque marked final payment before you are ready.
Make sure that you’re satisfied with the payout before you accept the final payment. Because if there are further expenses as a result of the accident, you will be on your own after you accept the last payment.
Should you call the police?
Not all accidents require you to contact the police, but if certain conditions are met you call them. Calling the police is necessary when:
- Damage exceeds $1000.
- Someone has been killed or injured.
- One or more driver is impaired.
- One or more driver is without a license or without insurance.
- The accident involves a cyclist or pedestrian.
- There is damage to public or private property.
If you are unsure of whether or not to call the police, go ahead and do so to be on the safe side. A police report can help with your insurance claim.