There's nothing worse than having a bump in the car, whether someone crashes into you, you crash into them, or you hit a bollard in a car park, knowing what to do next can be a worry.
If you have an accident don’t worry, car accidents are very common and as your insurance company, we are here to help you through it and make the process run as quickly and as smoothly as possible.
What do I need to do after a car accident?
At the scene of the accident, first of all make sure you get to a safe place out of a main road and out of any oncoming traffic. Avoid staying in the vehicle if you are on a motorway or any other type of main road.
You should stay calm and polite to the third party, but don't admit you were at fault for the accident, even if you think you were. Remember to make a note of any passengers in the other vehicle, include details such as their age.
Once you are in a safe place please try and obtain all the details of the other party/parties involved. You will need:
- Full names, contact telephone numbers, insurance details, including the policy number and car registration details and the car make and model.
- Most people have a phone with a camera which makes it much easier than it used to be to gather photographic evidence at the scene. If possible and safe to do so, take a photo of the damage to all cars involved. Likewise, any damaged property was damaged and the scene as a whole including road markings and signs.
- Gather any information you can from any witnesses to the accident ask for their details, including an address and telephone number. An independent witness can be useful to prove who was at fault in an accident.
If your car is obstructing the road, try and move it to the side. Only do this if the car is safe to drive don't put yourself in any danger. If you are unsure at all, do not attempt to move it. If your vehicle is safe to enter and not in a dangerous place you can collect all of your belongings out of the vehicle if it’s undriveable and it needs collection.
How long do I have to report a car accident to my insurance company?
You should call us as soon as possible to report the incident, preferably the same day, even if you are not planning on making a claim. Make sure you are in a safe place before calling us as your safety is paramount, but it's important you let us know about the accident as soon as possible. We ask as a minimum that the accident is reported within 48 hours.
Contact our team who will talk you through the claim process and take any important information from you to start the claim as quickly as possible. The can also arrange for your car to be collected by one of our approved repairers so the damaged can be assessed.
We will need your policy number; this can be located on your policy documents and will start with either of the following letters:
If you are at the scene of the accident when you call us then we can access your policy details with your car registration number.
If the accident happens outside our opening hours: Mon - Fri 8am - 9pm, Sat 9am - 5pm, Sun 10am - 4pm, and the car isn't driveable, call the 24-hour Accident Recovery Helpline on 0800 600 840. They will be able to collect and store your car until it can be assessed for damage.
Of course, if anyone is badly injured in the accident and requires urgent medical attention, telephone the emergency services.
What will we discuss when I report the accident?
When you call us to report the accident we will need to take as much information as possible about the incident and the details of all parties involved. Based on the information provided we can discuss the options available to you.
We will also explain all other information we need from you, repairs to your vehicle, liability, excess, No Claims Bonus and answer any questions you have. The claim registration process can take anything between 15 and 45 minutes so please make sure you have enough time to discuss the incident.
If you don't have time, still call us and we can arrange to call you back at a time that's convenient for you.
What happens after I've registered a claim?
After you have decided how to proceed, the agent you speak to will start the process and advise on timescales. Until we have clarified the extent of the damage it can be difficult for us to state how long the process will take. Liability can be a complex process with no set timescale so we might not be able to provide you with timescales on the initial call. We understand having any form of incident can be stressful and confusing so we are here to help you through the claims experience.