After a car accident, it can be hard to know what steps to take and where to turn for help. One thing you must do is contact your insurance company to report your accident. This page will discuss when to contact your insurance company after a car accident, as well as what to say – and what not to say – when you do.
When to Contact Your Insurance Company After a Car Accident
You should report your car accident to your insurance company right away. It is important to do so as soon as possible so that you can accurately recall details about your accident and report any injuries or property damage that may have occurred.
Reporting your accident in a timely manner will get the claims process started, and this can help you get car repairs and other services, including medical care, that you may need. Most car insurance companies allow you to report a claim online or via a toll-free number.
One common myth is that you do not need to contact your insurance company if you were not at fault. Regardless of whether or not you were at fault in an accident, you should contact your insurance agent to report it. You will not be able to use your insurance coverage until you do.
To help ensure that your insurance claim is processed properly, it may help to have the following information ready before you contact your insurance company:
- The name of the other driver and his or her address, phone number, and driver’s license number;
- The name other driver’s insurance company and contact information for the insurance company;
- A description of the other driver’s car, including the license plate number, make, and model; and
- Details about the accident, including where it took place and when it occurred.
Contact information for your insurance company can be found on your insurance card or other proof of insurance.
What to Say to Your Insurance Company After a Car Accident
Although it is important to notify your insurance company of your car accident, you should be careful about what you say.
In making the initial report about an accident, tell your insurance company the date, time, and location of the accident. You should also give them the names and addresses of all parties involved. Tell the truth; you should never lie to your insurance company about what happened.
It is important to understand that you should not make a recorded statement or discuss the issue of fault until you have consulted with a car accident attorney. Respectfully decline any requests to give a recorded statement, and do not answer any questions about who was at fault.
You should also wait to contact the other driver’s insurance company until you have spoken to a car accident lawyer. If another insurance company calls you, politely tell them that you will return their call after you’ve had an opportunity to talk to an attorney.