You’re driving to pick up your kids from school and… BOOM. The car behind you hits your taillight. But don’t freak out! Mae is coming to the rescue with a 6-step plan to have you prepared on what to do next.
Stop the car and put on your hazards.
Get photos if you can before moving your car. Don't admit fault and just be civil.
Call 911 if there are injuries, damages over $2000, or drugs/alcohol are involved.
Move the car to a safe location. If you cannot, pop the hood to signal other cars.
Exchange info and record accident details. Are there witnesses?
Call a tow truck if necessary to your chosen body shop/collision center.
What next? Insurance, claims, and gap insurance
Filing an insurance claim is crucial to protect yourself against liability. As most insurance companies have time limits within you must submit your claim, do this as soon as possible.
Review your insurance policy
Insurance companies will pay for specific losses described in your policy, so check your policy terms and conditions for the following:
If your company covers your loss or event
For any exclusions, losses, or events they do not cover
If there are any specific claim procedures to follow
How long you have to submit your claim
Collect your documents
Your insurance company’s policy may require a number of supporting documents to look into the circumstances surrounding your claim. For example, you may need to provide
An accident report
Your insurance company will then review your policy, and will let you know if you can make a claim under the terms of your contract.
What about if I’ve leased or loaned the car?
If you’ve leased the car or have taken out a loan to finance the car, in an accident and your car is totaled, your insurance company will only pay you the car's actual cash value, which may be less than the amount you still owe on the loan. In this case, gap insurance- also known as guaranteed auto protection- protects you from that "gap" between the loan or lease balance and the car's value.