4 Reminders To Share With Clients Regarding Auto Accidents And Their Aftermath
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and on its heels will be Black Friday, a month of Christmas shopping, and trips to see family and friends. It will be a busy time for your clients, and the likelihood that they will need your services will increase dramatically. If you would like to keep your clients clued in as to what their options are in the event of an auto accident, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) has released a list of important reminders that you should think about passing along to your clients. In all, there are four key steps that the insurance customer must take immediately following an accident if they are physically capable of doing so.
One: Get A Read On The Damages.
Auto accidents are not always in your customers’ control, nor is the aftermath. If they can get off to the side of the road without injuring anyone or causing further damage, urge them to do so. At this point, it’s important they get a read on the damages. It probably isn’t a bad idea for them to pull the smartphone out of their pocket at this point and take some pictures to help kickstart the claims process — more on that in a moment.
Two: Get The Authorities Involved If The Accident Is Serious Enough.
In minor parking lot accidents where there is a small fender bender — or on any private property — it may not be helpful to get the authorities involved. However, for accidents out on the roadways or any serious cases elsewhere, the authorities should be the first number dialed.
Also, remind your clients of the following, from I.I.I.:
“The police will notify the nearest medical unit. If the police cannot come to the scene the car accident, you can head to the nearest police department (or their website) to file an incident report yourself. Having an official report can help if the other driver decides to sue for damages or medical injuries, or there is more damage to your car than initially thought. If the police do come to the accident scene, get the officers’ names and badge numbers and ask where you can get a copy of the report.”
Three: Get As Much Info As Possible.
The two biggies, obviously, are the name of the others involved in the accident and the insurance company information. But I.I.I. says that insurance customers should also get the names of witnesses (if there are any) and “make note of the location of the accident, time of day and the weather conditions.” This is another point where the smartphone will come in handy. By using the photo app, there will be much less that the client has to recall from memory, resulting in more accurate information.
Finally: Start The Claims Process.
Make sure that your clients know they should notify you as soon as possible. This isn’t always going to be possible immediately after the accident, especially if the accident happens at night. However, you may wish to open up your social media pages as a means for your clients getting ahold of you. If your company has a mobile app to help with the process, direct them towards it. Doing so can make both their lives and your own easier.
Your auto insurance customers don’t often think about what they have to do after an accident until the situation is upon them. Why not get them thinking about it earlier? After all, they’re entering a high-risk driving season, and the only thing worse than getting into an accident during this time is getting into an accident and making costly mistakes in the immediate aftermath.