It is a sad fact of life, but accidents happen. If you are unlucky enough to be involved in a car accident, then you really should make sure you are fully prepared. You need to be able to manage the situation and report this to your insurance company to make sure your cover is not in jeopardy.
Even the safest of drivers have accidents from time to time. No matter how sensible you are – others are not! Pedestrians too can cause chaos, as can animals too: large deer are given to springing out in front of vehicles and can cause major damage.
When winter arrives, you have even more problems as the weather causes disruption and you have to contend with black ice, snow, rain and high winds. These all make driving dangerous.
Whilst many people go through their motoring life without so much as a scratch to the paintwork, others are not so fortunate - so it is worthwhile buying the best insurance you can afford. That way you can not only deal with the accident as swiftly as possible, you also will find that your claim is processed as smoothly as possible, but that doesn't mean to say you have to buy the most expensive on the market. You need to find a really good insurance broker – Westhill Insurance Services has a professional and dedicated team who will look after you. As an independent company insurance broker, we can shop around to make sure you get the best possible deal for your budget. We can offer advice as to what you should have in the way of cover and will make sure we find the most cost effective insurance to suit exactly your needs.
Just in case you do find yourself involved in an accident, here are some steps you can take to make the event less scary:
> The first thing you must do is STOP! Even if it is not your fault, you are legally required to stay if you are in an accident involving any other vehicle, person, animal or someone's property. If you fail to stop you could face a fine of up to £5,000, get five penalty points and even a driving ban.
> Secondly, make sure everyone is safe and uninjured – and make sure the road scene does not become a danger for other road users. If anyone is injured use 999 to summon help. Make sure all engines are turned off and then switch on hazard lights to make the scene as obvious as possible. If you have a warning triangle, place this approximately 45 metres behind the accident scene.
> After you have made sure everyone is safe, you need to exchange insurance details with the driver/drivers of other vehicle(s). It helps if you carry your insurance certificate with you, but many people prefer not to do so these days. You will need to gather these details at the scene:
> Details of any other driver's car insurance policy: the name of the insurance company, the policy expiry date, whether the insurance is third party or fully comprehensive.
> Details of each car's owner (these may be different to the driver)
> Contact details of everyone involved
> The make, model, colour and registration number of all vehicles involved and the damage sustained to each
> Photographs of the accident scene and damage to the vehicles – if you do not have a camera, make some sketches. Note the positions of the vehicles and take measurements if possible.
> Details of the weather and the road conditions – eg: wet or icy
> What the vehicles were doing when the accident happened
> Any other relevant details, such as whether other parties were using headlights or indicators, sounded their horn, etc.
> You should call your insurance company as soon as possible – ideally from the accident scene. If you do not, you may be in breach of the terms of your policy.
> Notify the police of the accident. If the other driver(s) do not have their insurance certificates on them, you may need police help if they are not supplied later on – or if they turn out to be uninsured.
When you are involved in a car accident it is important to gather as much information as possible and that is why it is a good idea to carry these items with you:
> A single use digital camera (or use your phone camera)
> A torch
> A notepad
> A pen or pencil
> Measuring tape
If you do a large amount of mileage, it may be worth spending out on a car insurance accident kit, which comprises the above and also comes with diagrams of road layouts for easy accident reporting plus a step-by-step guide to managing accidents.
At Westhill Insurance Services we always ensure you have a dedicated point of contact so that the same person deals with your claim from start to finish. This saves you having to explain yourself countless times and allows you to build up a relationship with your advisor – this makes the whole process less daunting and more friendly. It's at times of crises that we all need friends. One call to Westhill Insurance Services is all it takes to put your vehicle insurance in safe hands, so should the worst happen, you know you have a friend to turn to.
Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.