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Car Crash – 5 Things To Know Before Driving To The Workshop
You have met a nasty car accident and now you need to get the vehicle repaired at the workshop. But you won’t be able to complete the action without several hitches here and there.
The reason behind that are the several hidden facts and clauses in your automobile insurance policy that goes unnoticed by you till a crises occurs.
Well, this does not only happen to you, but it is a common problem faced by most car owners at some time or another. Therefore it is always advisable to go through your insurance policy documents to know what to do in case of a car accident, so that you may avoid future hassle and harassment.
If the accident was not at your fault, but because of a hired driver, then the liability is of the driver and his insurance company.
However both the driver and his insurer would try to avoid and neglect it through various ways. It is just how the world works.
Insurers sign us up playing up the benefits of claims. And when you do make one, they tend to investigate every reason to stop you from getting one or minimize it completely.
Therefore you must follow a few steps to keep things in your favor should a costly incident occur. And though these things are not advised in your policy document, yet practical experiences of multiple victims made people aware of these unspoken steps to be taken.
1) State of the driver
You must confirm if the driver was drunk or sober while driving.
Once you get off your car after a crash, make a conscious effort to notice the stench of alcohol. If there is indeed a whiff of it, report it to the police.
Alcohol levels stay in our blood for hours before it eventually dissipate to a legal level. This means that even if a drunk driver takes a test an hour after an accident, the data recorded can still show detrimental information on a drunk.
Needless to say, if a reporting police officer finds that you were drunk during the accident through tests, then you will never get your claims for car repair, and also the driver’s insurer would wash off their hands from the case.
2) Appointed workshops
To prevent workshops from making a quick buck by overstating damages and repair costs, most insurance organizations now work with appointed workshops.
As the costs of these repairs are paid by the insurers themselves, it is no wonder, that greater control has to be implemented to avoid being taken for a ride by these mechanics.
These are garages that have been screened and approved on their panel list. Meaning you cannot just take your car down to your favorite place then request that they fix up a new spoiler while they are at it.
You will have to review the list of appointed workshops and take your vehicle to one that is on the list in order to be eligible for a claim.
3) Report to your insurer within 7 days
In case of an accident, you must report the crash to your insurer within 7 days of the accident, or whatever the stipulated time line in your auto insurance policy. If you fail to inform within the timeline, then also you must try to inform within a reasonable time failing which your claims won’t be settled.
Failing to report within the stipulated time can mean an increase premium on your renewal or even the removal of no claim discount. The time frame for reporting after an accident can vary from place to place.
There is no universal rules on reporting. So do check out the exact terms you fall under.
However in case your driver is the one involved in the accident, and you are nowhere at fault, your driver has the responsibility to inform his insurer of the case.
But generally a driver avoids this step, and to ensure that you are not left in such a situation, you must follow these steps:
- Get the name, address and contact number of your driver and the contact number of his insurer so that you may personally inform the insurer of the case. Even better if you can take a picture of their identity card.
- Inform your car insurance company as well of the case, so that in case the driver’s insurer turns away their face from the case, you get help from your insurance company. It is like a money cycle. If your insurer has to pay you, they will go all out to get the money back from the other driver at fault.
- If the driver gives a statement before you, you must try to file that immediately to the reporting police officer or nearest police station before the driver changes his statement later to avoid responsibilities.
4) Check you excess
The excess is the amount that you have to pay for repair bills. There are policy riders you can sign up for to completely cover your excess. But not mane drivers do take up these riders.
If for example, your plan includes an excess for $300, get that money ready as you are required to pay it by the terms of the contract.
5) Better settlement
On following the above steps in order, you will be able to get better settlement from either the driver’s insurer or your car’s insurer. Both ways you will be saved from bearing unwanted expenses.
To avoid all such hassles it is thus always recommended that you get your driver’s full details before appointing him for the job. This way you will have all information at hand in case you are at crises.
The weird thing is that auto insurers have an emphasis on financial aspects rather than the health or safety of drivers. Your insurance premium is calculated heavily based on your history of claims.
So even if you have had an accident in the year, you could be looking at a cheaper renewal if you have made no claims and have had no claims filed against you.
As puzzling as this can sound, it could benefit all parties involved if there can be a settlement that does not involve any claims being filed from anyone.