Guide to collecting essential details at an accident scene
OK, let’s backtrack slightly and start at the very beginning.
What are 3rd party details?
No, this isn’t about figuring out where/ when a party is, what you should wear, or which of your friends are going? Unfortunately.
It’s actually very simple.
In car insurance terms, you (the driver) are the 1st party, your insurer is the 2nd party, and if you have an accident, the 3rd party is the other person involved (another driver).
Make sense so far?
We’ve all probably seen many films where drivers recklessly bounce from one car to another and drive off, but in reality things are little different.
If you are involved in an accident, then you are legally required to stop. This isn’t another Fast & Furious film…
But once you have come to a stop Vin Diesel, what do you need to do next?
What should you do in an accident?
Accidents are obviously very scary situations – nobody wants to crash their car, so things can seem a little overwhelming. But it’s important to remain calm and remember the steps that you need to take. Believe us, taking a few minutes to get the right details can save you A LOT of time.
Firstly, compose yourself and pull into a safe place, away from traffic so you’re not blocking the roads.
Secondly, get out and make sure everybody is OK. If anybody is injured, not conscious or suspects they have picked up a knock, don’t hesitate to ring the emergency services. They can be very helpful in this type of situation.
Once you’ve established that everyone is fine, then it’s time to take charge and start taking notes (literally).
So, what is the best advice we have for choosing what you need to take note of?
What information should you collect?
Name: Ask for the full name of the third-party (other driver), and if there are witnesses, collect their name(s) too. This will be extremely helpful for making your claims process go a lot smoother.
Address: People aren’t always willing to give out personal information, but just let the other driver know that this is only for insurance purposes, and they shouldn’t worry.
Telephone number: Exchange telephone numbers. When you make your claim, give these details to your insurer so they can contact them. A quick tip is to always ring the number in front of the other driver – this will make certain that they’ve given you the right contact details.
Insurance provider: If they can manage to remember who they are insured with, please take note of this detail. While it may seem insignificant, it can help us contact the right people quickly and deal with your claim more efficiently.
Car registration: This is probably amongst the most important details to note down. On the off chance that the other driver has given you bogus information, this is a way we can help track them down and process your claim. Either take a picture or add it to your notes on your phone.
If you can, take down all the above details on your phone or a piece of paper that you can provide to your insurer with. We would also strongly advise you to take as many photos as possible or the crash, damage caused and road positioning to give us the clearest possible picture.
For our full guidance on what other details to collect, click here.
When should you call your insurer to report the accident?
This is a very simple answer – the sooner, the better.
If you are an insurethebox customer, ring us immediately on 0333 103 8001, we are here to help you and ease your nerves 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
Better yet, save our number to your phone so it’s there when you need it most.
Once you’ve called us, feel free to ring your parents and let them know what has happened and that you’re OK.
Even if you haven’t received damage to your car, or yourself, it is important that you report every accident. But why?
Why should you call your insurer if there is no damage?
If you are extremely lucky and both you and your car manage to come out the other side unscathed, then you are extremely lucky.
But, just because you haven’t received any damage, does that mean that you shouldn’t call your insurer?
No. Calling your insurer is incredibly important. While the other driver may seem fine, along with their car, not reporting an accident to your insurer could open you up to fraudulent behaviour.
A minor bump could turn into a big headache if the driver of the other car falsely claims injury or damage.
So, the best practice is to always ring us, regardless of the accident, to help protect you against fraud on 0333 103 8001. We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Not reporting an incident may also invalidate your insurance, depending on your provider, so its better to be safe than sorry.