So you’ve just gotten into a car accident… Now what?
Your heart stops and your stomach drops as soon as you hear the crunch and feel the impact.
You’ve just gotten into a collision.
What happens next is very important. Before you pick up your phone and call a tow truck or the police, here’s what you need to know.
Knowing your roadside options
While a car accident is certainly a stressful moment, it’s important to think clearly. If you are able to do so safely, move your vehicle to the side of the road so not to disrupt traffic. If you see any oil or fluids leaking, turn your hazard lights on and do not attempt to move your car.
Calling the police
In most provinces, you must report the collision to the police if there are any injuries and/or the total damage to the vehicles involved seems to be more than $1,000. If you suspect other drivers involved are guilty of a crime, such as under the influence, call 911.
Calling a tow truck
You have the ability to choose whichever kind of towing service you wish.
If you have a CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) you are eligible for getting a tow for up to 320 km, depending on your membership type. Another way to find a reliable tow is to ask the police officer on scene to recommend a tow truck operator.
Most insurers have a “preferred choice” list of auto garages with discount rates. Ask your tow truck driver to take you to one of your insurer’s preferred garages. He or she may recommend another garage (usually because they get paid for the referral) but it is your prerogative to choose where to go. It’s far easier to go to a preferred shop because you will be charged to transfer your vehicle again to another shop.
Calling your insurer ASAP
Contact your broker to report your claim and wait for them to give you further instructions before authorizing repairs to your vehicle.
Other important tips for when you’ve gotten into a collision:
- Don’t admit fault right away— As Canadians, it tends to be our second nature to say “Sorry!” right away. While it might be your impulse to apologize immediately, don’t. This implies that you were at fault. Wait for your insurance company to evaluate the accident and who is at fault to determine the damages.
- Don’t try to settle your damages without insurance—You may think this is the quickest way to settle the case and avoid rising insurance costs. This is not the best solution. You don’t know that the other driver will go to his or her insurance company, even if you agreed to pay upfront. Or you may encounter other problems with your vehicle down the road. Your insurance provider is the best guide for you during an auto collision situation.
- If there’s one thing that is an absolute must in a collision situation, it is to exchange information with the other involved drivers– This includes names, licence numbers, insurance and contact info. Record any other specific information about the accident, like location, and witness information if possible.
At isure, our brokers have your best interests at heart and work hard to provide a 24/7 stress-free claims service. For more information, contact your isure broker today.