After an Accident: What Not to Do

After an AccidentIf you drive a car, it's inevitable that at some point you'll be in a car accident. If you're lucky, that accident will be a minor event in a parking lot, and not a high-speed crash on the freeway, but whatever type of auto accident you have, there are certain things you should never do:

  1. Don't Apologize: Even if an accident may have been your fault, don't say so. Apologizing can be construed as admitting that you caused a car crash, and can end up costing you money. Let the police and the insurance investigators determine fault. Do answer questions honestly. Don't place blame on anyone, including yourself.
  2. Don't Ignore It: Even if you think an auto accident was a minor fender-bender, or that no one was hurt, exchange insurance information with the other parties. Injuries and damage can often show up several days later, and you don't want to self-eliminate the possibility of filing a successful claim.
  3. Don't Use Tow Trucks You Didn't Call: It may seem simple to accept a tow from a truck driver who shows up at an accident scene unbidden, but the reality is that those towers are trawling for your business, and are often either unlicensed, horrifically expensive or both. You can use the roadside assistance coverage in your auto insurance policy, if you purchased it, but bear in mind that every time you use it, it counts as a claim. Your best bet is to learn the name and number of a reliable towing company, and keep it in your car. Alternatively, consider joining AAA.
  4. Don't Choose a Deductible that is Too High: Consider this tip a "preventative measure." Your auto insurance deductible is the amount of money you pay out of pocket when you file a claim. While it's true that raising your deductible will reduce the cost of your actual coverage, you should never raise it so high that you can't afford to pay it when you've had an accident and have damages to your car, or injuries to yourself.
  5. Don't Be Ignorant of What's In Your Policy: From time to time - we recommend at least once a year, spend some time reading your insurance policy so you know exactly what's in it, what's covered, and what isn't. Too many crash victims don't know about things like coverage for having a rental while your car is in the repair shop, or personal injury coverage amounts. Others assume they have full coverage, but actually don't. Educate yourself - knowing really is half the battle.

If these five DON’T's seem like obvious information, good for you! You're a savvy auto insurance policy holder. For the rest of us, it never hurts to be reminded of some basic dos and don'ts.

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