Your car accident checklist

If you are involved in a motor accident, what can you do to make sure your car insurance provider settles the matter as soon as possible? These simple post-incident tips are a must-read for all drivers.

Have your information to hand

Keep your car insurance certificate in your glove compartment, along with a notebook and pen. Also, having a disposable camera as a back-up is a good idea, in case you don’t have a camera on your phone or your phone battery has run flat, for example.

Write down all the details

Got that notebook to hand? Now mark down the following:

* The time and date of the accident
* The other car’s details – names, addresses and telephone numbers of drivers, passengers and pedestrians involved
* Names and addresses of any witnesses
* Vehicle details including make, model, registration number, colour, any modifications and the number of passengers in each vehicle
* Insurance details for the driver of the other vehicle. If it is a company car, take both the driver’s and their employer’s details
* The weather, visibility and lighting conditions
* Were headlights and/or indicator lights used? Are all lights working?
* A description – and photo, if possible – of the damage to each vehicle involved

Check your policy

Review your car insurance terms and conditions to check what is covered. Any queries? Make a list before calling the insurance company. For example, are you covered for windscreen replacement? How about a courtesy car?
Report the incident

Tell your car insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Some companies have 24-hour hotlines for this very purpose. Give a clear and concise description of the incident and make a note of who you are talking to and the time and date of the report. Now ask any questions about the terms and conditions of the policy – and cross-check with your documents.
What happens next?

Your car insurer will now log the incident and, if it wasn’t your fault, do its best to recover costs from the other party. This is where all the information you took from the scene of the accident will come in handy. But remember, in some cases it can be hard to prove liability and all parties may need to shoulder some of the cost.

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