Car accidents are unfortunately something the majority of drivers will experience at some point in their driving lifetime; but that does not make them any less terrifying.
Whether it is a minor scratch to your paintwork, or a more serious accident – the whole experience may leave you feeling shaken up with a million questions going around your head.
Who should I call? What do I need to do? Will this alter the price of my car insurance?
Perhaps your mind was occupied, a car came out of nowhere, or you were simply sat in traffic and got bumped into. Whatever the reason, knowing what to do and how to answer the questions swirling around your mind is essential.
Let us guide you through the steps you should take, to help us put your mind at ease.
What should I do after a car accident?
It’s not often that we are posed with the experience of a road accident in our day-to-day lives – if ever.
So knowing what to do immediately after an accident is something perhaps only few of us know.
But luckily, we’ve made a simple acronym to help you remember – STOP.
Most importantly, look after yourself – take some time to make sure that you feel OK. Often drivers who are involved in crashes experience anger, shock, guilt, amongst other emotions, so spend a minute composing yourself.
Giving yourself these few seconds will help you rationally and clearly deal with the situation.
Who should I call after an accident?
The answer that springs to mind would be either your friends or family. That answer is definitely not wrong – of course you want to speak about the traumatic experience with your loved ones.
But, we recommend calling your insurer first.
Once you have followed our recommended steps at the scene of the accident, the first phone call should be to the insurance claims team. We can talk you through the claims process and the earlier you call us, the sooner we can get you back on the road again. We can also help stop you becoming a victim of insurance fraud.
We recommend drivers to save the claims line on their phone. This way, if you have an accident, it will be quick for you to make the important call, even if you’ve run out of data.
Our friendly team are here 24/7 to help talk you through the process and what you will need to do next. Their friendly manner and experienced know-how can ease your nerves and sort things out in no time.
Make sure you always have our Claims number – 0333 103 8001 – on hand.
If the accident is not your fault and providing you are able to gather the person’s information, we will help you obtain compensation from the person responsible if you or your passengers have been injured and/or claim back other losses such as your policy excess, replacement vehicle hire costs, travelling expenses, loss of earnings or damage to personal effects.
We can cover the legal costs and expenses up to £100,000 as part of your insurance to seek compensation for your accident.
What if my car needs to be recovered?
Remain calm. You pay your insurance for a reason – and this is also why it’s so important to make a claim as soon as possible.
There are differences in insurers when it comes to recovery and repairs, so we suggest that you go through your policy documentation to understand what is covered and when.
If your car is not safe to drive and can’t be made roadworthy within a reasonable time, we will arrange to take it to our approved repairer at no cost to you. Once the damage is assessed, we will pay the cost of repairs or pay you for the loss of your car – contribution depending on the market value of the car and your excess.
You can use your own repairer if you want to do so, but in this case we cannot guarantee the repairs and we won’t be able to provide you with a temporary replacement car.
We may phone you to discuss the accident, but don’t worry, this is likely to be the most you have to do – we will do the leg work. Luckily, you have a black box installed in your car which will give us useful insight to support your claim if needed.
What if the other person isn’t insured?
Car insurance is a legal requirement in the UK for anyone using their car. But of course, there will be some people who try and bend the rules by driving whilst uninsured.
This can be a real problem for insurers, but try not let it cause you worry – it’s just another reason to contact your insurer as soon as you can after an accident.
However, if you are involved in an accident and the other driver either refuses to give their details or denies that they have any insurance, it is best practice to call the police (999).
It might seem like a lot to remember overall, but try and focus on the key points – remain calm, gather all the information you can, take pictures and remember this order…
Ring the emergency services (if required).
Ring your insurer (Call us on 0333 103 8001).
Ring your loved ones.