A car accident can be a sudden and terrifying thing. The first step is always to call the authorities. Make sure you’re not seriously injured as well as anyone else involved, and then call your insurance company. So how do insurance companies respond when your car is damaged in an accident? Let’s take a closer look at the process.
Right After the Accident
Once a car accident has occurred and you’ve alerted the authorities and help is on the way, it’s time to gather information. These are the things you’ll want to collect before calling your insurance company:
- VIN and license plate numbers of all cars involved
- Name, address and insurance information of other drivers involved
- Photos of all vehicles involved, including the area around the accident
Once you’ve called your insurance company, they will ask for the following information:
- Your policy number – If you’re flustered and can’t find your policy number, the insurance agent should be able to look it up with your name and phone number.
- Date and location of the accident – be as specific as possible.
- Explanation of how the accident happened
- Name, address, phone number and insurance information of the other drivers involved
- Names of the police officers who you talked to
- Police report number
What to Expect After Filing a Claim
Remember that you most likely have a deductible, so even if all the damage on your vehicle is covered, you’ll have to pay something out of pocket. If you’re found not at fault for the accident, you will get your deductible back in most cases. Ask your agent for details. Since all insurance companies are different, there may be certain preferred repair shops that you are allowed to take your car to, but most of the time you will be able to choose your own. Rental car expenses are usually covered under your policy as well, but the duration and daily price limit may vary, make sure to ask your insurance company before opting for a more expensive loaner.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, take a deep breath and relax, your car insurance will take it from here.