Thursday, May 5, 2016

In a (Minor) Car Accident, Follow These Six Steps

Even the most cautious drivers aren’t immune to car accidents. With inclement weather, animal crossings and distracted or aggressive drivers noted among the top accident causes, you must be prepared if you’re involved in one.

In the event of a fender bender or other minor bumps or scrapes, follow these six steps to ensure your safety and help accelerate the claims process following an accident.

  1. Pull over somewhere safe. If the accident is minor, move your car to a safe place out of traffic and turn on your hazard lights.
  2. Even if no one is injured, call the police. Calling the police will allow for documentation of the accident, which will be important if there is doubt about who is at fault, or if false information is provided by the other party.
  3. Trade information with the other driver. The most important pieces of information to gather from the other driver are: their insurance carrier and policy number, name and phone number. Also, consider collecting names and contact information from any witnesses of the accident; your insurance provider may find value in speaking with them if fault is in question.
  4. Take pictures. Don’t forget to document the accident through pictures, paying special attention to the vehicles with damage, injuries and the scene as a whole. Take pictures from multiple angles, so the damage and scene are thoroughly captured.
  5. Report to your insurance. You should notify your insurance company immediately, and provide them with the information gathered from the other driver and the pictures taken at the scene.
  6. Obtain an estimate. After speaking with your insurance carrier, take your car to an auto body shop for an estimate, giving preference to your insurer’s preferred repair shop.
While there is no sure way to avoid an accident, the steps taken immediately after will ensure your safety and the collection of all necessary information. Completion of these six steps will provide your insurer with a solid foundation to help determine fault and ultimately, issue a timely payment.

Thinking about switching your insurance? Switching to the TruStage Auto & Home Insurance Program could save you (or your members) up to $519.52* on car insurance. 

*Average annual savings based on countrywide survey of new customers from 01/27/2014 to 01/16/2015 who reported their prior insurers' premiums when they switched to Liberty Mutual’s group auto and home program. Savings do not apply in MA.
TruStage® Auto & Home Insurance Program is made available by TruStage Insurance Agency, LLC and issued by leading insurance companies, including Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and affiliates, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify. Discounts are not available in all states and discounts vary by state. A consumer report from a consumer reporting agency and/or motor vehicle report will be obtained on all drivers listed on your policy where state laws and regulations allow. Please consult your policy for specific coverage and limitations. The insurance offered is not a deposit, and is not federally insured, sold or guaranteed by your credit union.