What Should You Know About Auto Insurance Claims?
Auto insurance and auto insurance claims can be very intimidating due to the nature of the subject as it is not something we learn about in a controlled environment. There are no classes taught in school that are required to know how to compare and buy auto insurance or how to handle an auto insurance claim. What you need to know is learned by experience unless you go the old-fashioned way of buying auto insurance and get an insurance agent. However, you can learn much about the process by simply reading on.
Why do Accidents Happen?
One thing that you can do to help reduce your need to learn auto insurance is to avoid having auto accidents and become an exceptional driver. The better you are as a driver and the more aware you are of the signs of bad drivers the more likely you are to not get involved in an auto accident. Here are the five things that usually cause auto accidents to happen:
1. Speeding – It is really no big surprise that speeding leads to accidents, but it is something that we all tend to do on a regular basis. When you are speeding you are likely not paying as close attention to the road and your reaction time is impacted. The faster you are moving the less time you will have to react if something goes awry.
2. Red Lights – For some reason we all think that we can beat that yellow light and fly through the intersection to save a few minutes. Remember that the yellow is an indication that you should go ahead and slow to a stop, not an invitation to speed up.
3. Drunk Driving – Drinking and driving awareness has skyrocketed in the last few decades, but this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen anymore. Drunk driving reduces your reaction time and makes you generally unaware of what is happening around you. This is a sure way to get in trouble with your insurance company and the law.
4. Fatigue – When driving home after a long day of work or coming home from an extended vacation you must be aware or stop for rest. Fatigue will also reduce your reaction time but it will likely cause you to lose control of your vehicle a well. One car accidents are usually caused by fatigue, but many others are a victim of the condition as well.
5. Distracted Driving – Driving while distracted by something else has always been a problem, but technological advances have made it even worse. Texting and general cell phone usage are the root of many accidents, but use of navigation devices and laptops cause many accidents as well. The old constants of eating, drinking, reading, writing and grooming are still there as well, but are not as prominent as they once were.
What You Should do After Your Auto Accident
So, let’s say for the sake of discussion that you are involved in an auto accident for one of the preceding reasons, now what? Do you know what you should do once that your accident has happened and you are waiting on the police to arrive? There are some things that can help to save you time, money and stress down the road and here are a few:
- – Call your insurance agent or 800 claims number immediately so that you can get information to them from the scene. This way you can get any admissions of guilt by the other party on record or you can get help at the scene with a tow or roadside assistance if necessary.
- – Do NOT ever hesitate to call the police, ESPECIALLY if someone asks you not to so that they will not get in to trouble. Calling the police can get an official record of what happened and make it so that you are covered with your insurance company as well.
- – Take as many pictures as you can with a cell phone or camera of the scene and the vehicles when the accident happens. This is important to help with settling the claim from a liability standpoint. Giving a liability adjuster a clear view of the scene and vehicles helps them to put together the pieces to decide who is at fault.
- – Write down the tag number from the other vehicle, even if they seem cooperative at the scene. This will help to track them down if they give you any false information or if the vehicle is stolen.
- – One very important thing for you do to make sure that the other party is insured is to call their insurance company from the scene. Get the information from the other party and you don’t necessarily have to tell them that you are going to call. Most states have laws that prohibit driving without insurance and if you are informed about their lack of car insurance at the scene they can be arrested and dealt with immediately.