A Rear End Collision is one of the most common types of auto accidents. Whether the reason is because they are fiddling with the satellite radio or texting, people are very distracted these days. So, when it happens to you, how should you handle it?
Decide if You Should Call the Police
Depending on the situation, you may wish to call the police first. This is never a bad idea. Trust your instincts. If you have an uncomfortable feeling about the driver or situation, call the police. Find a safe area to wait until they arrive. Are there witnesses? Ask them to wait with you.
The police will gather all the information about both drivers and will give you an incident report. That report will have all the information you need to give to your insurance carrier as well as their carrier.
What you should do if you don’t call the Police
If you decide not to call the police then you will need to gather some information that will help with the claim handling process. Here is what you need.
- Their Insurance Information. Their Insurance carrier and policy number. The ID card will have all of this information.
- Their Personal Information. Name, address, and phone number.
- Their Vehicle Information. Year, make and model. Bonus points if you can get the VIN on the car!
Take photos of everything. The cars, the scene of the accident, their ID card (if possible).
Contact your agent before calling a claim in.
We always recommend calling our agency before calling a claim in to the carrier. We can help you decide if it’s best to go through their carrier or your carrier. Sometimes it is actually best to go through your carrier even though you were rear-ended. The reason for this is that generally speaking you insurance carrier will provide better and quicker service to you. You would need to pay your deductible if you choose to do this.
If you go through your carrier, they will then go after the other driver’s insurance carrier and will work to get them to accept liability and have your deductible returned to you. Regardless of which insurance carrier you report the claim to, you must be prepared to to talk about the accident. You will need to give your report on what happened to both your insurance company as well as their insurance company.
How a Not-At-Fault accident affects your Rates
You should not see a rate increase on your renewal due to a not-at-fault accident. If you shop your policy with another carrier, however, you may see that the rate is higher due to the accident. It will not be much higher but a not-at-fault accident could affect future quotes.
Do you need to go through Insurance?
No, not at all. The other driver could pay out of pocket to cover the damages. Make sure you get all of their information mentioned above just in case you change your mind later. Take your car to YOUR mechanic and have them give you an estimate. Call the other driver to discuss the cost of repairs. Make sure the other driver knows that additional damage could be discovered while the car is in the shop.
One thing to consider! Do you need a rental vehicle while your car is in the shop? Without insurance, most likely you won’t have access to one. Check your policy today to make sure that you have Extended Transportation coverage in the event of a claim.
Have you ever been rear-ended?
My name is Keith Laskey. I write about insurance, youth development and adult success. Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830, for any insurance related questions or concerns.