Most of us who have been through a car accident know that the only thing scarier than the actual accident is the spike in insurance rates in the years following the wreck. But are there measures we can take directly after an accident to help soften the blow to our coverage costs? Well, the experts at Lifetime Insurance are here to tell you exactly what to do after a car accident to save you from that dreaded insurance spike!
1. Check for Injuries
Amid the chaotic aftermath of a car accident, most drivers involved find themselves in a state of heightened adrenaline. In such a state, it’s that much more imperative to check yourself for injuries that you may not fully discover until that adrenaline wanes. At this point, you should also check everyone in the car with you for injuries to determine whether or not immediate medical attention is needed.
2. Seek Safety
If you’ve determined that you can move on your own, your next priority should be to move to a safer location, away from traffic and the accident site. Furthermore, if your car is still operational, you’ll want to move it off the road or on to a shoulder. Once you’ve gotten to a safe area, you should consider calling the police to make sure there is an official report you can provide to your insurance company.
3. Document the Damage & Exchange Info
Now that we’ve covered what to do after a car accident in the immediate aftermath, it’s time to tackle an integral first step in the claims process. Your next move is to document the damage done to your car and the other driver’s vehicle. If you have a phone handy, take photos, videos, and notes to detail the incident.
4. Assess Your Coverage Needs
Once you’ve surveyed the damage and determined who was at fault, you’ll need to figure out how much of that damage will be covered by insurance. In order to best explain how this step might look, let’s assume that the other driver is at fault. If this is the case, you’ll need to determine the following:
- Your Expenses – this includes repairs to your vehicle and your medical expenses.
- Their Epenses – this includes the other driver’s car repair and medical expenses.
Holes in Your Coverage?
If you’re wondering whether your current insurance is enough, don’t wait for a car wreck to find out! Our experts can help you assess your needs and shop for the best policy.
To make an already stressful situation a bit easier, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers a free app called WreckCheck that records the time of the wreck, helps you create written and audio details, and emails everything to you or your agent. In fact, several car insurance companies offer free smartphone apps to help you document the details of a crash.
5. Decide Whether or Not to File a Claim
After you have properly documented the accident, it’s time to decide if you want to file a claim. If you choose to file a claim, you’ll likely have to pay a deductible. From there, your insurance company will communicate with the other driver’s insurer and refund your deductible, if circumstances permit. Whatever you decide, this is the best time to consult with an insurance specialist to review your options.
6. Shop for Lower Rates
Depending on the severity of the accident, your insurance rates could increase by up to 50%! If this is the predicament you’re facing, it may be time to start shopping for a different provider and plan that offer lower rates. That being said, you should always bear in mind that your options for lower rates will vary by state.
Now That You Know What to Do After a Car Accident…
Now that you know what to do after a car accident, you can make more informed decisions when it comes to your auto insurance coverage. If you are tired of the high rates your current provider is charging in the wake of an accident, our insurance experts can help you shop for the coverage you need at the price you need. To build the perfect car insurance plan, give us a call at (972) 771- 2622 or visit our website!
What Can a Lifetime Pro Do for You?
Since insurance rates are set by the state, working with a local independent company like Lifetime is a smart way to shop. If you happen to live in a no-fault state, for example, a local insurance specialist could help you use that to your advantage.