Most of the time when you’re driving, getting into an accident is the furthest thing from your mind. But picture this:
It’s a Friday night, and you’re on your way to the movies with your significant other. The movie theater parking lot is packed, and as you search for a spot, somehow you wheel around the corner just as another car is backing out.
SMASH! You collide.
What to do you? Was this your fault? Or wait shouldn’t you have the right of way? Will your insurance cover the damage? Are you supposed to call the police?
After a car accident, the world may seem to be spinning. All you can do at this point is try to breathe, calm yourself, and be smart about your actions.
Below, we outline not only what to do immediately following an accident, but also what to do to ensure your insurance claim goes through successfully.
1). Make sure you and your passengers are safe.
Check everyone in your car (including yourself) to ensure that all are responsive and physically safe. If you need to, call an ambulance.
2). Call the police.
It is crucial to call the police after any auto accident so that they can create an accident report.
3). Gather information and evidence from the scene.
Take photographs of the scene of the accident, and also gather names and contact information from other drivers and passengers.
4). Call your insurance agency.
Once you’re sure you’ve collected all possible information, give your insurance agency a call and tell them you’ve been in an auto collision and you’d like to get the claims process rolling. You also might want to double check your deductible at this time.
5). Take your car (or have it taken) to an auto body shop.
If your car is drivable, take it to an auto body shop of your preference and get an estimate. Keep in mind that some insurance companies will have special relationships with auto body shops where estimates will be preapproved. This is something you’ll want to discuss directly with your agent.
6). Get a rental car if needed.
Some insurance policies include rental car insurance, which means that your insurance agency will arrange for you to have a rental car during the time in which your car is being repaired. If your insurance agency has a relationship with a preapproved rental car company, you won’t even be billed. If not, you’ll need to pay for the rental car, but your insurance agency will reimburse you.
7). Have your estimate approved.
Remember that you’ll need to have your estimate approved by your insurance company before you can begin the repairs.
8). Discuss optional coverage with your insurance agent.
Last but not least, have a look at your insurance policy. Do you have any optional coverage such as GAP insurance or new car replacement insurance?
GAP insurance or loan/lease insurance provides coverage for the fiscal difference between the worth of your car currently and any balance that is still owed on a car loan or lease. New car replacement coverage will replace a totaled car as long as it has less than 15,000 miles on it and is less than one year old.
The Importance of Working With the Right Insurance Agency
When it comes to filing a claim, the importance of choosing the right insurance policy cannot be overstated. If you live in North Phoenix, Cave Creek, or Anthem, Arizona, ensure you have a robust auto insurance policy by contacting Smart Move Insurance today and learning about your options.
Finding the right insurance can be a challenge, but our agents would be happy to sit down and speak with you about the ideal plan for you. Call or stop in today.