We all have faced an automobile accident at one point or another in time; it doesn’t make us any more prepared when it does occur though. Since it can be a stressful time, take a look at these 5 helpful tips to speed along the claims process!
1) Have Information Ahead of Time
Before you ever get in an accident, it would be extremely beneficial to have everything in place within the vehicle. Make sure you have a folder, file or envelope in the glove compartment containing your registration, insurance information, as well as any important numbers in the event you get stranded. Know what your deductible will be in any given situation and having critical numbers available can make a world of difference.
2) Maintain Situational Awareness
When involved in an accident, it can be a bit of a surreal experience. Shock is often a factor, so it is important to maintain awareness of where you are in relation to other vehicles to avoid further danger. If you are in a high traffic area, try to move to an area further from the road in case another vehicle hits the other disabled vehicles.
3) Trade Information
Make sure to not let the other party leave until you have their information such as insurance company, telephone number and as much contact info as possible. Having the name and address of the driver can help speed the process along, as well as the policy number for the other party.
4) Contact the Insurance Company
Whether you decide to pursue through your insurance carrier or the at-fault party is up to you. Make sure to be available for speaking to a claims handler and provide as much detail and data as possible. Photos of the accident scene are useful, as well as any other witness information.
5) Look into a Cash Settlement
Sometimes you need financial aid when dealing with a claim of this nature; sometimes the proceedings take much longer than planned and there are pressing needs such as medical bills and so on. Either way, it would benefit you to consider cash for settlement, especially if you are involved in a clear-cut accident where the other party is at fault.