California’s roads can be dangerous. There is always a chance of getting into a traffic accident while driving. You can avoid costly mistakes by knowing what to do in advance, regardless of whether it’s a minor “fender bender”, or a major injury accident. This guide will help you understand what to do following an accident checklist, and what to do when you file a claim to your insurance company.
This accident checklist can be saved in your vehicle as a reference.
Before you sign any insurance policy, make sure to carefully read the application. This will help you determine whether the coverages, accident checklist policy limits and deductibles meet your needs. Review the declaration page after you have received your policy. This page contains important information, including the names of the drivers and the vehicles covered, as well the limits and deductibles. You must verify that the coverage you have purchased is accurate and current. Send your request in writing to your agent or insurance company for any changes. Keep a copy. To verify receipt of documents, send certified mail returns receipts. Make sure you are familiar with your auto insurance policy before you file a claim. You will be able to understand what is included and excluded from the policy.
What to do if there is an accident checklist
- STOP immediately and only move if safe.
- If there are any injuries, dial 911.
Contact the police. Some areas may have police officers responding to all accident scenes. Police authorities may take into account factors like the extent and location of the accident. However, some police authorities won’t go to private property where the accident occurred. You should notify the police. If the accident is not a hit-and-run, most policies require that you notify the police within a certain time frame.
All drivers can be contacted for their names, addresses, telephone numbers, as well as driver’s license numbers.
Ask for vehicle identification numbers and accident checklist license plates. To verify that the information is correct, ask to see the driver’s license and vehicle registration.
Get the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and contact information of any witnesses and other passengers.
You can take photos of the damage and accident scene with a smartphone or camera, as well as traffic controls and visual obstacles, if you have one.
Leave a note with names and addresses of both the driver and the owners of damaged vehicles if the owner of the damaged vehicle or property is not available.
Notify your agent immediately and/or your insurer.
You must notify the Department of Motor Vehicles immediately if anyone is hurt or the vehicle damages exceed $750.00. Failure to notify DMV could result in your driver’s licence being suspended.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
What happens when I file a claim with my accident checklist Insurance company
Your insurance company may contact you to provide more information about the loss. They may also request a recorded or written statement. Sometimes, an examination under oath may be required. Other drivers and witnesses accident checklist might also be called as part of the investigation. You must document your loss, including any medical payments, lost wages, and medical expenses if you are a victim of an uninsured motorist. ).
What should I do if my insurance company doesn’t contact me?
After you have reported the loss, a representative from the claim department should reach out to you within a reasonable time. In certain cases, however, it may take up to 15 business days for the insurance company to reach you. For assistance, contact your agent or the insurance company if you don’t hear back from them. Contact the Department of Insurance if they don’t respond or if you feel there has been an unreasonable delay in settling your claims.
What does an insurance company do to assess vehicle damage?
An appraiser or adjuster qualified in vehicle damage inspections is usually used. Based on the initial inspection, an adjuster or appraiser will then prepare an estimate. The shop will notify the insurer if there is further damage that needs to be repaired. The insurer may send an adjuster out to inspect additional damages. The company might ask for competitive estimates if the damage is not severe. Once you are satisfied with your final estimate, the shop must be authorized to repair your vehicle.
What is the maximum amount that the company will pay for a claim of physical damage under a standard auto policy
In general, the company will pay the less of the following:
- The cost of repair or maintenance
- Actual cash value (ACV).
To find out what coverage you have, read your policy. Be aware of exclusions and limitations. If the Original Equipment (OEM) is installed by an automobile manufacturer, then there will be no or very limited coverage for aftermarket stereo equipment, phones, tires, and wheels. These equipment are usually covered at an additional cost.
What is the actual cash value (ACV).
Actual cash value – Californians refer to actual cash value as fair market value, unless otherwise stated in the policy. A fair market value is the amount that potential buyers and sellers are willing to pay for the item and have reasonable knowledge about it. They should act in their best interests and not be subject to undue pressure.
What is an appraisal provision?
An appraisal provision is usually included in standard policies. This can help in the event of a dispute about the amount offered by insurance companies for total loss settlements. Check your policy to determine if one is included. This provision allows you to request an appraisal. Each party chooses an appraiser who is competent. The appraisers choose a neutral umpire. The umpire will decide if the appraisers are unable to agree on a mutually acceptable amount. Any amount agreed upon by both parties is binding. Each party pays its appraiser, the umpire fee and is split.
How are drafts or checks prepared?
The insured as well as any lienholders, such a bank or finance firm, can receive the check. The company can also include the repair facility as a payer if the vehicle is considered repairable.
Who is responsible to pay the car loan balance?
The balance of the loan is due to the borrower, regardless of whether the vehicle is damaged beyond repair or stolen. The lender will require you to make a claim payment equal to the loan amount. This is often covered by “gap insurance”, which can be purchased to guard against it.
Is the insurance company willing to pay for my repairs and rent a car?
If you have rental vehicle coverage, yes. Before you rent a car, make sure to review your policy. The policy limits can vary but the company will pay a specific amount per day for a certain number of days. Your vehicle is repaired or the loss is covered, or both, depending on which comes first.
Your policy may cover transportation costs if your vehicle is stolen. To be certain, check your policy again. This coverage typically begins 48 hours after the theft, and ends when the vehicle is recovered.
What is a collision waiver? Will the insurance company cover these rental charges?
The rental agreement makes the customer responsible for any collision damage that occurs while the vehicle is in his or her possession. Rental companies also insure the vehicle for collision damage. The rental company will pay a fee to waive the customer’s obligation for repair costs related to damage to the vehicle that results from collision. The waiver language and the amount charged vary. The policy language will determine whether collision damage coverage is available for the rental car. Please read your policy. Before you rent a car, talk to your agent.
What is the salvage value?
If your vehicle has been declared total loss, this is the value remaining.
What is subrogation?
Subrogation allows an insurance company to sue a third party for the damages it has caused. If another party causes an accident that damages your vehicle, your insurance company can ask the other party for reimbursement. This policy requires that you cooperate with the company’s efforts to subrogate. You cannot do anything that could jeopardize the company’s rights to recovery. You cannot, for example, sign an agreement that releases the other party in return for your deductible.
What is the obligation of my insurance company to pay my deductible?
Yes, and no. You must be informed by your insurance company if they plan to pursue subrogation. Your deductible must be included in subrogation proceedings. If the company doesn’t pursue subrogation, they must inform you so that you can pursue your deductible yourself. Most companies will reimburse you if their efforts are successful in full or in part. If 100 percent of the claim is paid, you’ll get 100 percent of your deductable. If the recovery is less than 65 percent, you’ll receive 65 percent. If the company recovers, any expenses or fees (e.g. legal fees) incurred by it in its recovery efforts will be split between you and the company. If the company does not include your deductible, you can pursue recovery from the other party directly. To avoid jeopardizing your insurance company’s recovery, you should first discuss the matter with them.
Are you able to have your car insured outside of California?
Many policies cover coverage in other states, U.S. territory and possessions as well as Canada. Many other states and territories, like California, have financial responsibility laws that require drivers to purchase a certain amount of automobile insurance in order to protect themselves against losses due to the ownership or operation a motor vehicle. Your company will comply with higher financial responsibility requirements if you travel to areas that are more than your policy limits. Mexico is not covered by most policies. If you intend to drive your car in Mexico, it’s a good idea to purchase Mexico coverage separately. Before you go, make sure to check your out-of state coverage.
California’s financial responsibility law begins with Section 16020 in the California Vehicle Code. It requires that all drivers are able to pay any damages caused by the ownership or operation a motor vehicle.
Drivers must prove their ability to pay damages (financial liability) in excess of $15,000 for each victim injured or killed in an auto accident. $30,000 is required for injuries/deaths of more than one person in an accident. A minimum of $5,000 is required for property damage. You may be asked to provide written proof of financial responsibility if you are cited for a moving violation or involved in an accident. You can do this by writing the policy number and the name of your insurer on the DMV’s vehicle registration card. You should keep this proof of insurance in your vehicle, or somewhere you will have it available whenever you drive. Contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles for more information.
What do you do if you receive a lawsuit (Summons and Complaint), as a result an accident?
Notify your agent immediately and your insurance company. Keep a copy of the original documents for your records and send it or hand it to your company. You should not make statements about the accident or talk to anyone other than a company representative. Your company will defend you if a lawsuit arises from a covered loss.
What is the coverage for a vehicle just acquired?
Many policies automatically cover a vehicle that is replaced by one covered under your policy. The coverage is usually the same as what you had for your vehicle before. Inform your broker-agent immediately if you receive a replacement vehicle. You may need additional coverage if you want it. Your agent will usually require you to notify your company within a specified time frame.
Many policies provide coverage for new vehicles that are added to your existing policy. There are often specific conditions that must always be met.
Automatic coverage provisions generally require that an insured inform the insurer within 30 calendar days of the vehicle’s acquisition if they wish to have it covered under their existing automobile policy. Some policy notification periods may be shorter than 30 days. Notification periods for some insurance companies are shorter than 14 days.