Few things get your adrenaline pumping quite like being involved in a car accident. Once the dust has settled and you are able to assess, your mind will be filled with a million questions. So what should you do immediately after a car accident? Situations vary but there are a few things you can always count on doing. The amount of vehicles involved can also affect the steps you need to take. Working with an independent agency gives you the added value of calling for guidance without immediately opening a new claim. Here’s why this is important.
Paying claims is our top priority. We want to make sure everything is handled properly. Part of our job as an independent agent is to evaluate each situation and make sure it makes sense for you to submit a claim and then guide you through the process. Claims over time tend to turn into premium increases for the insured. Frequent claims in a short time period may even result in the insurance carrier cancelling your policy due to an increase in risk. You may not be cancelled by your carrier but perhaps you want to look at your options. Those claims will follow you when get quotes elsewhere leading to higher premiums with other companies. Following the steps below can save you from unnecessary premium increases or cancellation and give you a sense of calm and assurance when all the questions flood your mind.
Note: If any injuries occur then the insurance company must be notified immediately.
Single Vehicle Car Accident- No Injuries
Few auto accidents end with no damage to another person’s vehicle or property. However, in the rural areas of Paducah, Kentucky we find that accidents involving deer are a predominant type of accident. This scenario usually results in damage to the driver’s vehicle alone (and of course the deer). At the time of the accident you will want to note the following:
- Current Location
- Time of Accident
- Pictures of Damage
If the vehicle is drive-able and the damage appears minimal then we at Bradshaw & Weil, Inc. always recommend our insured’s obtain an estimate and compare against their deductible before submitting a claim to the insurance company. Upon obtaining an estimate you may find that the cost to repair is less than your deductible or if more, then the margin is slim. With this information, you can make an educated decision on whether or not it makes sense to submit a claim.
Multiple Vehicle Car Accident- With or Without Injuries
If you are involved in an accident with multiple vehicles then you need to take the following steps.
- Assess yourself/the scene for injuries.
- Get the name, address, phone number of other parties involved.
- Contact the local police to come out and do a report
- Always be honest and truthful but do not admit fault. This needs to be determined by the police report and insurance companies.
- If injuries are involved then you must notify your insurance company and start a claim as Kentucky is a No Fault state.
- If the accident is property damage only then you would ideally file this under the at fault parties insurance policy for repairs.
To Work It Out or Not?
It may be that you have had a very minor fender bender with no injuries. If you are clearly at fault and want to cover it out of pocket then this is a possibility. We caution you to proceed this way if you are not at fault. If you decide that this is what will work best for you then you MUST get the at fault parties personal information AND insurance information. Without their insurance information you cannot guarantee that they will uphold their end of the deal.
Additional tips specifically from your insurance company may be located on the back of your vehicle’s proof of insurance card that you keep in the vehicle.
Working with an insurance company other than your own can sometimes be difficult. You can always file a claim under your insurance even if you are not responsible. One of our jobs as independent agents its to walk you through the process and give you advice on how to prevent unnecessary rate increases or cancellations from undue claims with your carrier.