As a driver, being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic and stressful experience. Besides dealing with the physical and emotional impact of the crash, you’re also left with the responsibility of filing an insurance claim. Knowing what to do in case of an accident can significantly reduce the hassle involved in handling a car insurance claim, while also ensuring that you receive proper compensation for any damages you incur.
Here’s a guide on what you should do after a car accident, as well as some essential information on UK auto insurance claims.
Stop Your Vehicle and Make Sure Everyone is Safe
The first and most important thing to do after an accident is to stop your car and ensure that everyone involved is safe. If there are any injuries, call an ambulance right away. Also, switch off the ignition and turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers.
Call the Police
You should also get in touch with the police and report the accident if:
– Anyone is injured or killed
– Any vehicle involved is not roadworthy or has to be towed away
– Any of the drivers can’t offer their details, or if they refuse to give their information
– You suspect the other driver may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol
– You suspect the accident was intentional or criminal
Exchange Details with the Other Drivers
Once you make sure everyone is safe and the police are notified, you need to exchange your details with the other parties involved. Get the name, address, and contact information of any other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians who were present at the scene. You’ll also need to note down the registration numbers, make and model of the vehicles involved.
If possible, you should try to collect evidence of the accident. Take photographs of the scene, including any damages to the vehicles involved, skid marks, and the location of the accident. You should also collect witness contact details, as their testimony can be valuable in the insurance claim process.
Report the Incident to Your Insurer
Finally, you’ll need to contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. They will require details of the incident, including time and location, the names of any other drivers involved, and a brief description of the damages incurred. Make sure you have all the necessary information before you call your insurer to expedite the claims process.
Understanding Auto Insurance Claims in the UK
When it comes to auto insurance claims in the UK, it’s essential to understand your policy’s terms and conditions. Most insurance companies require you to pay an excess before they cover the costs of repairs. Typically, the amount you pay for excess depends on the level of cover you’ve taken, and it’s usually between £50 and £500.
If you’re not at fault, your insurer will arrange for the damages to be repaired promptly, and your excess will be refunded. If the accident is the other driver’s fault, you can claim directly from their insurance company, and your excess will be refunded directly by your insurer.
Being involved in a car accident can be stressful, but knowing what to do can make the process of making an insurance claim much more straightforward. Make sure you stop your vehicle, report the incident to the police and your insurer, and collect as much evidence as possible. Also, understand your policy’s excess and the claims settlement process to ensure you receive proper compensation for any damages.