As a driver, there’s always a risk of getting into a car accident. Accidents happen unexpectedly no matter how safe you are. It’s a scary experience but here are some things you can do to stay calm, alert, and prepared to make an insurance claim.
Stop the car immediately in a safe area
If you’re involved in a car accident, the first thing to do is stop. Move your car to the side of the road so you don’t block traffic. If you can’t move your car, turn on the hazard lights to warn other drivers. Get out of your vehicle and move to safe place. Remove any dangerous items from the road and stay at the scene of the car accident until emergency services arrive. Leaving the scene after a car accident is a criminal offence in Australia.
Check other passengers
Check your passengers and call an ambulance immediately if they are seriously injured. Make sure you check on other drivers or pedestrians as well to make sure they are okay too. If needed, administer first aid until help arrives.
Call emergency and police services
Call 000 if someone has been injured, property has been damaged, or the owner of the other vehicle refuses to give their personal details. You can also report if the other party seems to be intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.
Exchange details with the other party
While car accidents are stressful, don’t forget to swap details with any other party involved in the accident. Take note of their:
- Name, address, phone number
- Driver’s license number, registration plate, car model
- Insurer details
Take photos of the accident using your smartphone.
Reporting to the police
A major accident needs to be reported to the police within 24 hours. A major accident may involve:
- Where someone was injured or killed
- Details between parties were not exchanged
- Vehicle or property damage is estimated to be around $3,000 or more
While minor accidents need not be reported, it is always a good idea to file a police report anyway as insurers often ask for it when filing a claim.
Do not admit fault
Even if you think you are responsible for the accident, don’t admit fault until you have reported it to your insurer. Your insurer will assess the accident and decide if you are indeed at fault.
Contacting your insurer and making a claim
Whether your insurance is comprehensive or third party, you should call your insurer as soon as possible. The sooner your insurer knows about the accident, the sooner your claim can be processed. Your insurer may even be able to help you get your car towed.
Car insurance policies differ but your insurer will generally need:
- Name, contact details, and license number of other parties
- Date and location
- Other parties’ insurance details
- A summary of how the accident happened
Review your car insurance
If you own more than one car, the process of making a claim in case of car accidents may be difficult, especially if you have individual policies. Consider getting a multi car insurance policy that can protect all your vehicles under one policy, for a reasonable price. Apply online or call us to find out more.