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Auto Insurance

01

Auto Overview

02

Understanding Coverage

03

Helpful Terms & Tools

04

Accident Checklist

Darn! In Fender Bender? Do This!

01

Get safe first! Get the vehicles and yourselves off the road and out of traffic.

02

Call the police. In the case of a fender bender, most police departments will ask you and the other person to come to the station to make a police report. Always retain a copy of the police report, as you will need it should you choose to make a claim.

03

Get any witness information from people who saw what happened. Get witness names and phone numbers.

04

Get the other driver’s insurance company information, including their name, address, phone number, insurance company, and policy number.

05

Take photos or video if you have your SmartPhone. You can take photos of the vehicle damage and the scene (such as skid marks on the roadway or dents on a stop sign post, etc.). Photos help your insurance company.

06

Throughout all of the preceding steps, don’t admit blame or assign blame. Stay calm and collected and treat the incident like a reporter would, sticking just to the facts. If the police come to the scene to take information, or if you’re providing details over the phone, state the facts as you experienced them, and allow the other person to do the same. Witnesses can provide additional facts that may be used to determine who is responsible.

07

Safely stash all notes and documentation! Don’t lose your notes or your copy of the accident report.

08

Think before you make a claim. If the damage is very minor—a few scratches and small dents—it may make more sense to just pay for minor repairs than it would be to risk your insurance premium going up in the future due to this accident. If it’s the other person’s car that’s dented or scratched, see if they’ll allow you to pay for the damages directly. If you decide to make a claim, call your insurance company’s claim hotline. Follow the claim center’s instructions if you choose to make a claim.

Tips & Tricks

Not Make a claim? You may be thinking, “Wait! I pay for that auto coverage every year. Why shouldn’t I USE it when I need it?” Be aware that many insurance companies will raise your premiums if you are involved in even a minor crash. Remember, their job is to figure out your exposure and how big of a risk you are. When you make a claim, you’re saying, “Hey, I’m a risk.” The repair cost may be less than your deductible amount anyway, in which case risking higher premiums makes little sense!

WOAH! In a MAJOR Accident? Do This!

01

Get safe first! If it’s possible, get the vehicles and yourselves off the road and out of traffic.

02

Call 911, or ask a bystander to call. Ask for police and ambulance, even if injuries don’t look that serious to you.

03

While waiting for first responders, get witness names and phone numbers or ask a helpful bystander to collect this information if you are unable to do it.

04

When first responders arrive: • Follow first responder’s instructions and be treated for injuries if needed. • When the police begin their questioning, don’t admit blame or assign blame. Stick to the facts. • Witnesses can provide additional facts that may be used to determine who is responsible. Once everyone involved is taken care of, proceed to the following steps or ask a first responder or helpful bystander to assist.

05

Get the other driver’s insurance company information, including their name, address, phone number, insurance company, and policy number.

06

Call your insurance company’s claim hotline. Follow the claim center’s instructions.

07

Take photos or video if you have your SmartPhone. You can take photos of the vehicle damage and the scene (such as skid marks on the roadway or damage to the area.). Photos help your insurance company.

08

Safely stash all notes and documentation! Don’t lose your notes or your copy of the accident report.

To Recap

  • Vehicle insurance is the responsible way to protect your vehicle and cover the costs in case you get into an accident
  • Every auto policy is different, providing a variety of coverages depending on your needs
  • Insurance agents are an excellent resource to help you navigate your insurance purchase and the process of filing a claim
  • Make sure you buy the right coverage – you don’t want to waste money on things you don’t need, but you also don’t want to be underinsured
  • If you are in a major accident, be patient, take notes and pictures and report to your insurance carrier.

This Guide

01

Auto Insurance Part 1 - Auto Overview

02

Auto Insurance Part 2 - Understanding Coverage

03

Auto Insurance Part 3 - Helpful Terms & Tools

04

Auto Insurance Part 4 - Accident Checklist

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