Auto Accidents: What to Expect, What to Do

You’ve just been involved in an auto accident. Quickly, several questions race through your mind and you begin questioning what you should do, who you should call and what to expect moving forward. After assessing if everyone is OK, we want you to feel equipped to make informed decisions on the claim process. At Andres O’Neil and Lowe Agency, we pride ourselves on having a live person available, even after-hours, to assist with claim questions.  Often times, having the answers at that moment puts your mind at ease as you move forward.

Do you need to call the police and file a report? We suggest contacting the police department and having them document the incident to ensure you have the other party’s information and a confirmed statement of what happened at the scene. If the incident occurs on private property, the police department may not respond and suggest you exchange information. If this happens, we suggest snapping a few photos of the vehicles before they are moved and collecting the other party’s name, phone number, insurance carrier & policy number.

How do I get a rental car if mine is not drivable?  If you are at-fault for the incident, you will need to have rental reimbursement coverage on your policy to trigger the authorization of a rental.  Your agent will be able to authorize that for you within 24 hours, if available.  If you are not-at-fault, you normally need to wait to hear from the responsible carrier for them to authorize this coverage for you.  If you are not in a position to wait, your agent can set up that portion of the claim for you under your auto policy, if you have the coverage in place.

How long before the adjuster will call me and authorize repairs or determine if it’s repairable?  Most insurance carriers comply with reaching out to the individuals within 24-48 hours of the claim being reported. That being said, oftentimes the carrier will reach you the same day if accurate contact information is available. The adjuster will ask for a recorded statement from those involved and then instruct you on getting the vehicle’s damage evaluated. The adjuster will advise if more than one estimate is needed and if they will be out to review the vehicle as well.

What impact will this have on my rates? While your agent may not always know up front the premium ramifications for the filed claim, do not be afraid to start the discussion with them early on. At Andres O’Neil and Lowe Agency, we feel education is key. There may be something simple you can manage for your claim that will prevent a larger premium increase at renewal. Discussing this with your agent sooner rather than later will avoid any unforeseen surprises at your renewal.

We look forward to seeing how we can assist in keeping your claims experience as stress-free as possible!

October 5th, 2017|