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Texans Crash Their Cars in December - What happens after?

According to an Allstate Insurance Company review, Texans crash their cars more during the holiday season. Allstate looked at its claim history between 2006 and 2010 and found that December was the busiest month for auto accidents. Carlos Cuellar, an Allstate agency owner said, “The increase in crashes could be related to more people being on the roads traveling and shopping during the holidays, weather changes and other distractions. What’s important for drivers is that we stay focused while at the wheel whether on the highway or in the driveway- during December and every other time of the year.“ Well said Carlos.

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all know that the holidays can be the most stressful time of the year and can get the better of us. Allstate found that the top 5 days, in order, for accident claims were December 24, December 18, April 7, December 1, and December 11. This was the average of five years’ worth of data. It is best we all heed Carlos’ words and practice safe driving skills this holiday. While you may want a new car for Christmas, having an accident to get one is not necessarily the idea you might have in your hand. If you end up in this unfortunate situation, there are several steps you can take to make sure you are properly reimbursed and covered by your insurance company.

Accidents Happen

It is best to understand your policy before you get into an accident. This way you will at least know your policy limits when you find out how much damage had been done to your vehicle. But if you are all up to date on your policy and find yourself in an accident, the first thing to do is make sure everyone is okay. This is your first and foremost concern. Whether it is you, your passengers, or the other driver or passengers, it is important to ensure that all parties involved are safe before discussing such things as insurance. If you find that anyone has any type of injury, call 911. Not all injuries can be obvious to the naked eye and internal injuries can be just as, if not more, dangerous that gory wounds.

If you determine that everyone is safe and uninjured, approach the other driver to obtain their information. Regardless of who is at fault, it is very important that you collect their insurance information and give them yours. Some important basic info to gather includes names, addresses, and phone numbers. You will also need to provide your policy number and insurance company as well as the get the same from the other driver. Be sure to also take note of the other car’s make and model and license plate number. If you have a camera handy and you think it’s necessary, take pictures of the damage while you are on the scene. It may come in useful if the other driver proves to not be so honest.

Filing a Claim

Technically, the person at fault is responsible for reporting the accident to the insurance company but it always best that you not only contact their insurance company but your own company as well. When you call them, be prepared to discuss the accident but avoid placing blame or getting angry. While it is understandable that getting into an accident, especially a serious one, can be upsetting, failure to cooperate with insurance companies won’t help your cause. Ultimately, it will be the police who determine who the at fault driver was. Many times, they will show up if you are in a public area but use your discretion to determine if the police should be involved in case you sense any negligent behavior at the scene of the crash. The police report can help with your auto insurance claim.

The Claims Process

Once you have filed your claim with your insurance company, they will need to investigate as they do all claims that are placed with them. Do not take offense but use this as an opportunity to understand your policy and how it can affect your current situation. Your first instinct after seeing your poor car in such a terrible shape is go get it fixed but avoid this at all costs. If you immediately get your car fixed, it is highly likely you will pay for those costs out of your own pockets. Instead, when you speak with your insurance company, tell them that you would like to schedule and inspection of your car to get an estimated cost for the damages.

Your insurance company may be able to recommend a reputable shop. When you receive your estimate, be sure that it includes all costs. After this has been done, you can schedule an appointment with your insurance company’s adjuster. They will look at all the information surrounding the incident to come up with what they believe is covered. Be sure to get everything in writing and that you understand the extent of the adjustment so that when you go to file repair claims, there won’t be any surprises.

Getting Back on the Road

By this time, you may already have your car fixed and ready to hit the open road. Accidents can cause a certain amount of stress and there may be times when the other driver will not cooperate or your insurance company may not share your sentiments over the amount of damage and coverage. If you were the at fault driver, you can also expect an insurance rate hike. While this may seem like adding insult to injury, they must calculate how much liability you hold and if you cause one accident, they question what prevents you from causing another.

To avoid this situation

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completely, practice safe and focused driving habits but if you find yourself at the mercy of a bad driver, make sure to follow the appropriate steps. By doing this, you can avoid unnecessary hassle and get back to your daily life.