Car insurance is the most common form of insurance, and a must have for all vehicles, private or commercial. This is because it is mandatory by law.
Car insurance serves two purposes:
Third party liability – These are parties besides the driver who may be involved in an accident, such as passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists. The insurance will cover medical costs incurred as a result of the accident and any form of compensation to the affected.
Motor repair or replacement – Surviving an accident is good news; great news is surviving unharmed. However, the vehicles involved will definitely incur damages, the extent dependent on the nature of the accident. Car repairs are expensive and can set you back financially. Sometimes the car may be “totaled”, wrecked beyond repair, and written off. In both cases, insurance cushions the owners against the financial losses incurred either on repairs or the replacement of the car.
Having valid car insurance with great benefits does not exempt you from personal responsibility on the road. For instance, if you are driving under the influence of alcohol and cause an accident, your insurance might incur the costs of repairs and compensations, but your policy may be subject to punitive measures for drunken driving. Similarly, if an accident occurs as a result of any traffic offense committed, the drivers responsible may face lawsuits for such offenses.
Five Things Not To Do After A Car Accident
Leave the scene – Never leave the scene of an accident unless you’re released by the police. This can be considered as ‘fleeing the scene’ – especially if you are the one responsible for the accident. Always check on the other motorists, call the police, exchange contact and insurance information, and inform your insurance agent for further guidance. When you leave the scene without a police or inspector’s report, it will be difficult to launch a claim for compensation.
Reach an agreement without involving the police – Before insurance pays your claim, they rely on the police report as proof of accident. Even though you may come to a mutual agreement on the settlement as drivers, this does not hold when it comes to following up your claim from your service provider. From the perspective of your service provider, there is no guarantee from the other party that they will uphold your mutual agreement. In such a case, your insurance provider may refute your claim, forcing you to bear the costs of repairs on your own. In any case, not reporting an accident is considered an offense in most states.
Not Getting all information – When you’ve been in an accident, this is the information you’ll need to get from the other driver(s):
His/her full names
Their insurance company and policy number
This information is crucial when following up for compensation, especially if the other driver admits liability.
Accept liability – Never accept liability when in an accident. This exposes you to lawsuits which are a costly affair and can get you into more trouble. Be cautious of whom you speak to and what you say in regards to the accident. Besides the police, your insurance agent, and in some instances, your lawyer, other parties may be looking to escalate the matter and use your statement against you.
Delay filling your claim – Any delay in notifying your insurance company of an accident delays the claim process and compensation as well. The rule of the thumb is “once in an accident, call the police, and then call your insurance service provider”. This is because insurance companies also carry out their own investigations to rule out fraud before paying out anything.
When you find yourself in a car wreck, remain calm, patient, and allow the due process to be followed. It is always in your best interest to go for a medical check-up, even when you have no visible injuries and you feel fine. Insurance may be able to compensate your car but it certainly won’t replace your life or your body. So, while you may have the most elaborate car insurance, the primary insurance is your consciousness on the road.