Chicago car insurance agent Ed Sneneh reports on Handling car insurance accidents & claims
Auto insurance claims will be faster and easier filed if the driver/ insured acts properly while you still at the auto crash scene. For instance, don't be frightened. If at all possible, keep calm and make every effort to protect your car occupants, vehicle. and property.
- Do call for emergency assistance for those who seem to have suffered any bodily injury. Sometimes the injury may not be evident on the spot. Do not take any chance!
- Do not leave the scene without making sure that you exchange insurance and other information with the other party. Leaving the site of the accident is against traffic rules.
- Do not discuss fault issues or admit fault regarding the crash with the other party. Try not to apologize unless you are absolutely sure the accident was your fault. It is not you, but rather the insurance companies or the court of law, that will determine liability issues.
- Do not provide the other party any extra insurance information (such as how much insurance coverage you have). You may exchange with the other operator your license and registration and the name of your insurance company, besides your name, address and, if different, the name of the registered owner of the vehicle. Make sure to get from the other operator of the other car his/ her name, address, drivers license number, date of birth, state of license, phone numbers, as well as the auto number and insurance company. If the operator is not the registered owner, make sure to determine the name of the car owner and his or her address & phone numbers when possible.
- Do take notes of the names, addresses, home and business telephone numbers, and the extent of their injuries of all injured people. Look for witnesses to the accident and take down their names, addresses and telephone numbers.
- Do file police report. If possible, obtain the report as soon as it is ready .Take notes of the names & badge numbers of all law enforcement and emergency personnel at the site of the crash. Be certain to check all cars for damage and write down areas damaged, as well as car description, make, color and license number.
- Do move your car from the site of the crash to a safer location to prevent any more accidents/ losses.
- It is critical to do this while the information is clean in your head. Report the accident to your insurance broker or agent immediately; if the accident involves injury or significant property damage, report it promptly to the police department.
- Do cooperate with your insurance company. Your company will send you forms to complete and will request that you give a sworn statement.
The faster the claim is filed, with detailed and true information, the sooner you will be paid for your claim. If it turns out that you are the one at fault in the crash, having the facts straight is particularly critical in presenting your case, since it is important to your future insurance costs that any damage be assessed precisely and fairly. Keep in mind that you have the right for a legal advice any time for information and guidance.
Finally and most importantly, do make sure that your insurance payments are always up to date and that your coverage is in force.