What to do if You've Been in an Accident

If you have been involved in a car accident, no matter how minor, can be a stressful and upsetting experience. First and foremost, you need to ensure the safety of all parties involved if possible. Then, do your best to remain calm, and take the following two steps:

1. Report the accident to your broker or insurance company

When you are involved in a car accident involving injury or property damage, you need to report it to your insurance agent, broker, or insurance company within seven days, regardless of who is at fault.

2. Gather all the facts

It’s important to collect some basic information about the accident and share these details with your insurance agent or broker when you call:

  • Name of the registered owner’s insurance company and their auto insurance policy number
  • Make, model, year, registration, and license plate number of the vehicle involved in the accident
  • Details regarding the accident, including:
    • Driver’s name and driver’s license number (if the driver is not the registered owner)
    • Date, time, and location of the accident (city/town, intersection, etc.)
    • Extent of any injuries
    • Number of passengers involved, if any
    • Extent of damage to the vehicle
    • Description of the accident (what happened before, during, and after the accident took place?)
    • Names and driver’s license numbers of the other drivers, as well as the names of their insurance companies and their auto insurance policy numbers
    • Licence plate and vehicle identification numbers (VINs) of the other vehicles
    • Name and badge number of the investigating police officer, if the accident was reported to the police

When to call your broker, when to call the insurance company

If anyone involved, including you, has been injured as a result of a car accident, call your insurance company directly. If any of the vehicles involved in the accident have sustained obvious major damage, again, call the insurance company. Bear in mind that as soon as you contact your insurance company, they are required to file a claim.

If all parties involved are uninjured and the vehicles are not significantly damaged, call your insurance broker first. We can provide advice on whether it may be in your best interest to not contact the insurance company. “Fender benders” that result in a minor ding, scratches, or scrapes may be not worth putting through your insurance as a claim. Depending on the amount of your deductible, it may be better to pay for the repair directly rather than make a claim. Your broker can also review your claim record to see if your insurance rate may be impacted.

Ensuring claims are fairly handled is an additional benefit of being with an insurance broker. We not only help you with the claims process, we can help to ensure a fair and speedy settlement.

We’re here to help you through the entire process. Remember, we have years of experience helping people in your situation.

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