The alarming frequency of car accidents happening on our South African roads is the strongest reason for car insurance, however car insurance is really only helpful after the accident, right? Wrong. Car insurers have been upping their game to offer consumers more value, and this includes being there for you from the very moment that you need it. As in, from the point of prang, they’ll leap in to help you handle the situation.
Even with all their help, it’s far better to have an idea of what to do after a car accident so that you’re not completely helpless. We can be our own heroes and all that jazz. So, let’s dive into it with a complete review of what you should after an accident.
What to do after a minor car accident
Even if it’s not so bad, a minor accident can leave you feeling quite shaken. We’ve got you covered with a quick list of things you can do to make things simpler.
Here’s what you should do if you’re involved in a minor accident:
- Towing: Don’t let anyone other than your insurer’s approved towing service tow your car, because if another towing service gets involved, then you’ll have to pay the bill and this can be expensive.
- Call: You’ll need to call your insurer to get a towing service in any case, and this is when you can notify them about the accident.
- What you say: Don’t admit guilt or offer any kind of settlement, because this is something your insurer will sort out for you.
- Details: Your insurer might provide an accident form that you can keep in your cubby hole which you download and print, but if they don’t you’ll need to get the other driver’s full name, phone number, ID number, car reg number, and the make and model of their car. Take photos of the accident scene if you can with your cellphone as pictures speaks a 1000 words.
- Report: Go to your nearest police station to report the accident within 24 hours and get a case number, which you’ll need for your claim.
- Call again: Your insurer might call you back once you and your car are off the road and somewhere safe, to get all the details of the accident, or you might have to call them. Either way, this call needs to happen so the claim process can start.
What to do after a bad car accident
Alright, you’ve had an accident and it’s a doozy. There’s no way you’re going to remember a whole heap of things to do at this moment, so this part of our accident guide is much shorter.
Here’s what you should do if you’re involved in a bad accident:
- Talk to yourself: As soon as you’ve stopped the car, take a minute to take stock of the situation and repeat the words, ‘stay calm’ to yourself. It helps.
- Check: See if anyone in your car or in the other person’s car has been injured.
- Don’t move: Leave the injured people where they are, unless they’re in danger of being further injured by staying put.
- Call: Phone the ambulance or your insurer’s emergency assist service for help and wait.
If you don’t already have cover, then while you’re comparing quotes, make sure to check how your prospective insurer helps you handle an accident.