It’s a Saturday evening, and you’ve just had a fun day in downtown Chicago with your friends. As you head to the parking garage, get in your car, and back out of your spot, you’re lost in thought about all the fun you had.
Then, Boom! All of a sudden, a car whips around the parking garage corner and rear ends your vehicle.
What now!? The other driver’s engine is smoking, the driver is screaming at you, and you’ve got an ache in your neck. More cars are coming around the corner, but you’re blocking the way. Do you move? Do you get out? Do you call the police?
Do you know what to do?
Accidents like these happen all the time in the Chicago area and in and around Rolling Meadows, IL. Knowing what to do beforehand in the event of a vehicle accident can save you a lot of headaches.
Below, we’ll go over immediate and longer-term steps you should take to stay safe and make a successful insurance claim.
First Thing’s First: Steps to Take Directly After the Accident
1). Take photos & move to a safe location.
Start by taking photos of your vehicle if it is not in harm’s way. Then move your car to a safe location out of traffic and turning on your hazard lights.
2). Assess everyone for injuries.
Check everyone in and any other vehicles involved to make sure that no one has been injured. If they have, call for medical assistance immediately.
3). Speak to the other driver, witnesses, and police.
Speak with any other drivers involved in the accident and get their names, phone numbers, addresses, and insurance company names and policy numbers.
Speak to the responding police officer. Get their name and badge number. Get a copy of the police report. Take as many pictures as you can. Ask witnesses for their eyewitness accounts, names, and contact information.
4). Contact your insurance agent directly.
Call your insurance agency. Tell them about the accident and that you need to file a claim.
Handing Vehicle Repairs With Your Insurance Company
Now it’s time to handle your insurance claim. Below, we’ve outlined the two major steps to concern yourself with.
Getting a Rental Car
In a car accident like the one we provided in the example above, it’s possible your car will not be drivable. In this situation, you need to have a mode of transportation in the interim between the accident and getting your car repaired or replaced.
Check with your insurance agency to see whether not you have rental car coverage. If you do, you may be able to go directly to a local body shop and get a rental on the spot. Some insurance companies have relationships with body shops so that the body shop will bill your insurance company directly. In other situations, you may need to pay for the rental car, and then you’ll be reimbursed by your insurance company
Dealing With Estimates and Mechanic Repairs
You’ll need to decide whether or not your car needs to be replaced or repaired. In some situations, replacement is wiser than getting repairs. Speak with your insurance agency about what constitutes a “totaled car.” It’s different for every insurance company.
Once you get feedback from an auto body shop, you can make a decision on repair or replacement. If you decide to go forward with repairs, make sure that you get them approved before having the auto body shop begin.
In some situations, your insurance company may write their own estimate, or you can go to a body shop that has a relationship of preapproved repairs with your insurance agency.
Making the Right Choice on Auto Coverage
The best way to always have enough auto coverage in the event of a vehicle accident? Work with the right insurance agency.
AFI Insurance can help you take a second look at your auto plan and ensure you have no gaps in coverage. Call or stop by today.