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August 26, 2010

Be Prepared for a Fender Bender

Ambulence Being prepared can keep you calm and lessen your stress after a fender bender or a major car accident. Seeing your ride all crumpled and dealing with involved drivers or injuries is no time to lose your cool. During the minutes after a crash, it can be hard to think logically and calmly. The most common mistake is not collecting the right information.

Ensure everyone is SAFE and that you gather the right INFORMATION about the incident and parties involved. 


Step 1: SAFETY FIRST - Call 911 if someone has a life threatening injury. Get medical attention even if the injury is not life threatening.  If vehicles are moveable, move them to a safe place on the shoulder of the road.

 Step 2: CALL THE POLICE - Call the police directly. A police report is an important piece of information in resolving your insurance claim.

 Step 3: GATHER INFORMATION

Though you may collect basic contact information, you may forget about the insurance policy number, the insurance agent’s contact information, or the registered owner of the car. When you then go to file a claim, you may have issues with your insurance company because you did not collect the correct information, or don’t have pictures of the actual damage from the collision.

Be Prepared - In case of emergency you will need: 

  • Car Information: License Plate number and state; Vehicle Identification Number; Make/Model/Year of cars; Registered car owner; Owner address and phone number

  • Driver information: name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, state of issuance, expiration date, date of birth
  • Insurance Policy Information: Name on Proof of insurance, relationship to driver, insurance company, policy number, insurance agent and phone number

  • Passengers in Car: Name, contact information, where seated in car

  • Names and addresses of witnesses

  • A one-time use flash camera to visually document any damage

  • Keep your proof of car insurance documents in your glove box so you’ll always know where they are
  • A Flashlight, warning triangles or emergency flares
  • List of emergency contacts

  •  A medical card listing any allergies to medication or a condition that requires special attention

  • Pens or pencils / Paper or a notepad
  • First-aid kit

  • Blanket

  • Jumper cables

  • Paper towels


Step 4:
CONTACT YOUR CAR INSURANCE CARRIER - As soon as possible to report your claim.

Go here to download a form to print and keep in your glove box to help you collect all the information you will need to report your accident claim to your car insurance carrier.

This article is sponsored by 21st Century Insurance.


Jody DeVere President & CEO
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