Your Car Insurance After an Accident
Even before you get into an accident, prepare for one by taking the time to read and understand your auto insurance policy. Many people never know what is contained in their policy, and they are surprised when they find out, for example, that their own car is not going to get repaired by the insurance. When you know what your policy covers, you are prepared for the worst. Check your exclusions and make sure your policy limits are high enough to handle any emergency.
After the accident, call your insurance agent. Give her the details of the accident as you have them, and request an adjuster to come take a look at your vehicle. If your insurer needs you to do something different, they will talk you through it when you call to notify them of the accident.
Gather documentation. Get a copy of the police report, and then collect statements from any witnesses that were available. If the accident happened in a commercial area, local security cameras may have captured the event on tape, and that tape may be necessary as evidence. The better you can document your case, the easier it will be to settle the claim.
Do not admit to any type of wrongdoing. If you are at fault, it will be determined later, and by admitting fault at the outset you may be damaging your chances to file a successful claim. You do not have to argue about the accident or deny charges leveled against you, but do not admit to anything voluntarily because you could be taking the fall for the other driver without even realizing you are doing so.
Time is important, so contact the insurance company right away. And once the claim is being processed, make sure that you respond quickly to any written communications or phone calls. Do not make yourself unavailable to the point of losing out on a legitimate claim. Investing time into making the claims procedure go smoothly will actually save you time in the long by not forcing you to repeat some of the steps over and over.