Life is complicated, insurance doesn't have to be.
The minutes right after a car accident are a blur. What just
happened!? What am I supposed to do now?
Well, first, take a deep breath then:
1. Move to a safe location
If you are able to move your vehicle, get to a safe location
off the road and put your hazard lights on.
2. Check on everybody involved
Are you okay? Any pain when you move? What about the other
vehicle(s)? It’s important to check to see if anybody needs immediate help.
3. Call 911
The dispatcher will
ask where you are and if anybody is hurt. Give them the best
description of your location. Landmarks such as nearby gas
stations or mile markers are helpful. This is important to
do even for minor collisions. If the police are able to come
to the scene, they will file a report of your car accident.
This will help your insurance claim process.
4. Exchange insurance information with anyone involved
Whether law enforcement is able to come to the scene or not,
documentation is crucial. Make sure you record important details, like:
Additionally, if you or someone else in your vehicle can
safely take photos of the accident scene and involved vehicles it
can help with documentation. Lastly, try to limit your conversations
with involved parties. An auto accident is likely to lead to a
liability dispute and the accident scene is not the appropriate
forum for those discussions.
5. Call your insurance agent
After the police arrive, call your local independent agent
that services your policy. If the accident happens after your
insurance agent’s operating hours, some carriers offer an
after-hours 1-800 number. For Auto-Owners policies, we have our
1-888-252-4626 number for after-hours claims.
6. Call your veterinarian if your pet was in the
car, and was injured, during the accident
At Auto-Owners, we believe that pets are family. That’s why
our auto policies come with Pet
Medical Coverage. This coverage may pay up to $750 for your injured
pet’s medical expenses, with no extra charge or deductible.
Making the Auto Insurance Switch
After you call your agent, one of the first things that will
happen is a claim number will be assigned. Soon after that, a claim
representative will be assigned to your claim. The claim
representative assigned to your claim will guide you through the
process of getting an estimate for your vehicle. The method of
inspection will be determined by the severity of the damages to your vehicle.
car needs a minor repair or is a total loss, the claim
representative’s job is to answer any questions and help get
you back on the road.
Depending upon your state of
residence, some insurance companies may require you to choose from
a list of preselected body shops for repairs. At Auto-Owners, we
let you choose where you want your repairs done and then work with
them to come to an agreed price.
Your auto policy may include a rental car reimbursement. With
Auto-Owners, your claim representative will work with you and the
rental agency to bill us directly, subject to your policy limits. Your
policy will keep you in the rental for a reasonable time to conduct
the repairs or until any total loss offer. We may also cover food and
lodging for a short time immediately following the accident if you are
on vacation or out of town on business when the accident happens.
It is good to have a local support when you’re involved in a
car accident. With over 100 claim offices in 26 states, we believe
our claims branches should be as close as possible to our
policyholders and agents.
To find your local, independent agent check out our Agency Locator.
*Products referenced may not be
approved/available in all states. Limitations and conditions
may apply. Premium will be based on benefits chosen and
policy rates available at time of application.
Disclaimer: This article is not expert advice. The
analysis of coverage is in general terms and is superseded
in all respects by the Insuring Agreements, Endorsements,
Exclusions, Terms and Conditions of the Policy. Some of the
coverage mentioned in this material may not be applicable in
all states or may have to be modified to conform to
applicable state law. Some coverages may have been
eliminated or modified since the publishing of this
material. Discounts may not be available in all states.
Limitations and conditions may apply. Premiums will be based on
benefits chosen. Please check with your local Independent
Auto-Owners Insurance Agent for details."
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