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What you need to do after a car accident

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


Car accidents are unfortunately very common. If you've had an accident, follow the steps in this guide to make the car insurance claims process run as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

What do I need to do after a car accident?

At the scene of any general accident, first of all make sure you get to a safe place off the main road and away from any oncoming traffic. Avoid staying in the vehicle if you're on a motorway or any other type of main road. If anyone is badly injured in the accident and requires urgent medical attention, phone the emergency services.

Once you're in a safe place, try and collect all the details of the other party/parties involved. Stay calm and polite, but don't admit you were at fault for the accident, even if you think you were.

You'll need:

  1. Full names, contact telephone numbers, insurance details including the policy number, car registration details and the car make and model. Remember to make a note of any passengers in the other vehicle, include details such as their age
  2. 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, any property that was damaged and the scene as a whole including road markings and signs
  3. Gather any information you can from any witnesses and 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 blocking the road, try and move it to the side. Only do this if the car is safe to drive and don't put yourself in any danger. If you're at all unsure, don't attempt to move it.

If your vehicle is undriveable and needs collection, you can take all of your belongings out of the vehicle but only if it’s safe to do so.

When should I inform my insurer?

You should contact us as soon as possible to report the incident, even if you aren’t planning to make a claim. Make sure you’re in a safe place before calling us as your safety is paramount. If possible you should contact us from the scene of the accident, otherwise preferably the same day.

If you're at the scene of the accident when you contact us, we can access your policy details with your car registration number.

If the accident happens outside our opening hours, and the car isn't driveable, call the 24-hour Accident Recovery Helpline, they'll be able to collect and store your car until it can be assessed for damage. Our opening times and emergency contact numbers can be found on our Claims page

What happens when I report the accident?

Whether you report over the phone or online, we'll need as much information as possible about the incident and the details of all parties involved. Based on the information provided we'll be able to provide the options available to you.

We'll also let you know if there's other information we need from you and discuss repairs to your vehicle, liability, excess, No Claims Bonus and answer any questions you have.

What happens after I've reported the incident?

After you've decided how to proceed, we'll start the process and advise on timescales where possible. Until we know 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 straightaway.

We understand having road traffic accidents can be stressful and confusing so we're here to help you through the claims experience


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