Most people purchase car insurance with the hope that they will never have to file a claim. Unfortunately, drivers face an average of five car accidents within their lifetime. While driving defensively and avoiding distractions is a great way to prevent accidents, it is still important to know what to do when one occurs.
If you have to file a car insurance claim on your policy, make sure to have the right information. This will help make the process go quicker and allow you to receive compensation faster.
Name, Address and Phone Number of All Drivers Involved
Your insurer will generally have your information already, but they will also need the name, address and phone number of other drivers in an accident. You will not have to worry about this step if you are in an accident by yourself unless this information has recently changed. You will need this information from drivers if more than you are involved in the accident, however.
You will also need the other driver’s insurance policy numbers. This allows you to share their insurance information with your insurer to help calculate which insurance agency will provide compensation for the accident.
Before filing a claim, make sure to write down the year, make, model and license plate numbers. You essentially need all of the information about your vehicle and any other vehicle in the accident, even if there are more than two vehicles involved. This also helps with the claims process.
Photos if Possible
If possible, the more physical proof you have, the better. Take photos of the accident such as damages to your vehicle and the other vehicles from every angle. If you file a police report, photos may be available to your insurer through the police investigation. Also make sure to take photos of any valid injuries that may have occurred in the accident.
Notes and Witness Statements
It is also important to get statements or testimonies from those involved in the accident and those who witnessed the accident. This can help determine fault, which in turn helps the insurance agencies decide who will provide compensation for what damages.
If necessary, contact the police and file a police report to help streamline the process. Throughout filing a claim, make sure to remain honest and consistent with your insurance agent about all aspects of the accident.