As most of us here at Insurance by the Woods can attest, accidents happen. We wanted to take some time to go over a few things that you should do after you have had an accident, so that you can be prepared when and if this ever happens to you.
1. Check for injuries.
If someone needs medical attention, contact the emergency services right away. Also, even if you don’t need immediate medical attention, you can still be covered for injuries that are the result of an accident.
2. Exchange information with the other parties involved.
You should try to attain their name, address, phone number and their insurance information. Since everyone should have a copy of their insurance ID card with them in case of an accident and almost everyone has a cell phone capable of taking pictures, see if the other party will let you take a picture of their insurance card. While you have your phone out, take pictures of the damage to the vehicles involved.
3. Contact the claims department.
Some of our companies have mobile apps that will allow you to submit claims. A few even have the ability to give an instant estimate for repairs based on photos of the damage. If you don’t have a mobile app available, you can always call the claims department, or you can call us and we can connect you to the appropriate phone number or even submit the claim through the company website. Once the claim has been reported, the company will assign an adjuster to handle your claim going forward. You should keep a record of your claim number and the adjuster’s name, phone number, and email address.
4. Get estimates for your vehicle damages.
You don’t need to wait to hear from the adjuster to start getting estimates on the repairs and it can help speed things along if you are proactive in getting these estimates to the adjuster. In case of glass damage like a broken window, you may want to go to a glass repair shop to see if they will seal the damaged area with plastic before the replacement glass is installed to prevent further damage from weather conditions.
5. Keep your personal items.
Before you leave your vehicle at the repair facility, take some time to collect your personal items such as phone chargers, CD’s, MP3 player, ice scrapers, umbrellas and loose change. These things can be easily left behind or lost.
6. Keep in contact with the adjuster.
Sometimes adjusters will have additional questions, and it is important to respond and cooperate with the adjuster so that the claims process can progress. If for some reason you can’t seem to contact your assigned adjuster, contact the claims department and ask to speak to their supervisor.