Crash course on what to do after a car accident

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are more than 5 million reported auto accidents each year. While we hope you aren’t in one, here are tips on what to do if you are.

What if I may have caused the car accident?

If you believe you are the at-fault driver, it is crucial for you to remain calm and handle the situation in an amicable way.

How will it affect your insurance?

Your insurance rate may not be impacted immediately, but it could be in the future. Typically, your rate will not increase at the time of your claim, but it may go up when your policy renews. In most cases, the surcharge is lowered after three years of clean driving.

Suggested steps to take directly after a car accident

  • Call 911 or the police, explain the situation and notify them of any injuries
  • If safe to do so, move your vehicles to a safe location
  • Exchange relevant information with the other driver including, name, address, phone number, insurance company and insurance policy number
  • Take photos of scene and any damage
  • Contact your insurance agent or company
  • File an accident report – this could help you with your insurance claim down the line

Is there coverage that could offset out-of-pocket costs?

Some insurers offer some form of accident forgiveness coverage, which keeps your insurance premium from going up because of an at-fault accident. The Hanover, in particular, offers second chance accident forgiveness, which applies if you’ve had no at-fault accidents in the previous 36 months, regardless of who your previous insurer was. (Many insurers insist on 36 months solely with their company to qualify.)

Underinsured motorist coverage extends coverage to include property and bodily damage caused by a motorist with inadequate insurance protection. Underinsured motorist coverage is designed to provide for damages above the limit of the at-fault party's policy coverage.

Before you hit the road

Contact your independent insurance agent to be sure you have the right combination of coverage, value and price. The Hanover offers a robust suite of auto protection options designed to help give you maximum peace of mind when you are behind the wheel.


Value Penguin