A Daily Blog on Creating Success

What to Do if You’re Rear-Ended

 

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?

 

rear ended

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.  

How to Use Your Credit Score to Lower Your Insurance Rates

As if insurance rates weren’t annoying enough.  Your car gets older and your rates get higher.  And now you realize that because you missed a credit card bill two years ago you may be paying more for your auto insurance.  It’s very frustrating.

 

Pregnant  woman with money. Family budget.

But, depending on your situation, this information actually may help you LOWER your rates!!

 

 

If you are married or if you are listed on an insurance policy with someone else, take a look at how your names appear on the policy.  Make sure the person who has the better credit is listed first.  If you are unsure who has better credit, call your agent and ask them to give you a quote with both names listed first.

 

If you want to impress your agent, use the term First Named Insured which is insurance jargon for the first name listed on your policy.  If you discover that the Second Named Insured (the person listed second on your policy) has better credit then ask the agent to switch the names and run a report.  There is a good chance your rate will go down.

Unless two people are in the exact same credit tier, there will always be a different rate depending on who is listed first and who is listed second.

 

 

Can Your Agent see Your Credit Score?

No.  What we do see is a number, a code of sorts that indicates what tier a person’s credit score is in.  The lower the better.  I have seen numbers as low as 1 and as high as the thirties.  My number is somewhere in the middle, but we’re working on that!!

 

 

Success Story

A few years back we were having some serious trouble finding a good rate for one of our insureds.  His renewal rate with his current carrier was unreasonable but we just couldn’t find anything better.  Finally, I simply switched his wife’s name from Second Named Insured and put it First.  We saved them close to a thousand dollars for the year.  Didn’t reduce the coverage or increase the deductible.  Just simply changed the way their names appeared on the policy.

There are countless other stories where we just simply switched how the names appear on the policy and saved people a significant amount of money.

 

 

What if you are  Single?

If you are single and your credit score has recently been increasing, you should ask your agent to run a report again and see if your rate has changed.  Companies do not run reports every year so if your credit is stronger now than it was a few years ago you may find that you can lower your rate.  If your score is higher but your rate is not affected then it’s time to shop.

 

 

How to Shop for Insurance

If you are with an independent agency just ask them to shop around for you.  They will quote all of the carriers that they represent.  If you are with a company like Nationwide or State Farm than they can recommend a different agent or agency to help you.  If they cant or will not recommend a different agency than you know they have their best interest in mind, not yours.

If that is the case than it really is time to shop.

 

 

As always, call me with questions or concerns.

 

-Keith Laskey-

photo courtesy of SalFalko via Compfight

 

 

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