First things first, we hope you’re ok. Car accidents can be a scary and traumatising experience, and you may still be in shock from the incident.
If you’ve recently been in an accident, and you need to make a claim on your insurance, the last thing you want to be worrying about is how to do it. To help, we’ve put together a list of points to make the process as smooth as possible, from the moment the accident happens to making the claim itself.
Straight after the accident
No matter what has happened, if there has been an incident you do need to stop your car and turn off the engine. Make sure your hazard lights are on and check the safety of yourself and your passengers.
It goes without saying, if you or your passengers are injured then you should call an ambulance. Alert the police, if you are blocking the road with your vehicle, or if you believe the other driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If it is just a small incident, you should notify the police within 24 hours, using the non-emergency number: 101
You must leave your details with the other driver involved in the accident. You will need to exchange:
- Name, address and contact number
- Car registration
- Insurance details
- Names of passengers
If you can, take pictures of the scene and show damage after the accident. This will help in supporting the claim on your insurance.
Don’t worry – you don’t need to call your insurer from the scene of the accident. They would prefer you were safe and out of harm’s way before contacting them. You will need to get in touch with your insurer within 24 hours though, so don’t leave it too late.
What to do
- When you call your insurer after an accident, they will ask if you wish to make a claim on your policy. If you do, you will be sent a claim form to complete and return.
- If your vehicle is damaged, a claim assessor will review your vehicle and estimate the cost of repairs, you will then be given a list of approved garages that can repair your car. If you repair your car before this, your insurer may not be able to pay out for the costs.
- If your vehicle is written off, your insurer will pay out a sum equal to its value before it was damaged.
What to avoid
- If it costs less to repair your car yourself, than it would to pay the excess, it may be worth not claiming for the repairs.
- Remember – even if you decide not to make a claim, you still need to notify your insurer of the accident.
No claims discount
Your no claims discount is the number of years you’ve accumulated without having to make a claim. When you make a claim, you will lose all or part of your NCD.
Even if your NCD is protected, or you decide not to make a claim, your renewal price may still increase. This is because once you are involved in an accident, it’s statistically more likely to happen again.
We really hope that if you are in the process of making a claim, that everything goes smoothly and you are back on the road soon. It’s natural to feel a bit nervous getting back behind the wheel after an accident, so take things at a pace you’re comfortable with, and we’re sure you’ll be absolutely fine.
We’ve loads of helpful tips about dealing with anxiety, so hopefully that will help too!