Let’s face it, unfortunately, accidents happen. That’s why you have car insurance. Ultimately, the claim should almost always go through the at-fault party’s insurance. Using your insurance means you will have to pay your deductible, which might be reimbursed but can take some time.
- Always collect as much information as possible (driver’s license numbers, name, phone numbers, license plate numbers, insurance information, etc.).
- Take pictures.
- Always make sure you are safe and move your vehicle to a safe location, if possible.
- Use your emergency roadside service for a tow. Contact your insurance company if you need a tow. Many insurance companies will offer a tow, from the accident, even if you do not have emergency roadside service on your policy.
Each scenario can be unique but we’ll discuss the most common occurrences:
Other driver is at-fault: Even if the accident is minor and the other driver admits fault, you want to notify the police. This will help if it turns out that the other driver changes their story or if they had a lapse in coverage. Just because someone has insurance ID cards, does not mean that they are insured. It’s in your best interest to file a claim through the at-fault party’s insurance. This will save you having to pay your deductible and the at-fault party will usually cover your rental car.
Parking lot incidents: Generally, police do not respond to an incident on private property unless there are injuries. If you feel you are not at-fault, collect as much information as possible (see above) and try to get contact information from any witnesses.
Hit and run: Try to get the person’s license plate number but make sure you’re safe. If the person leaves the scene of an accident, there is generally a reason. They might not have insurance or are driving illegally. Contact the police and your insurance company.
Your car is parked and someone hits it: Unfortunately, we see this often in Denver with the popularity of street parking. It is a terrible feeling to arrive at your car and see someone has hit you and left. Check to see if the person left a note or any information. File a police report and contact your insurance company. The damage will be covered under your collision coverage, if applicable, but you will be responsible for your deductible. Even if you have an older vehicle and decline collision coverage, ask your Denver auto insurance agent about uninsured property damage. This is an inexpensive insurance coverage that can be added to your auto insurance. If you have uninsured property damage, prior to the incident, then you will be covered.