What should I do if I have an accident?
The duties you need to perform after you have an accident are prescribed both by state law and by the terms of your contract. Obviously, the first thing you should do is make sure everyone is all right and call an ambulance if one is needed.
Second, for most accidents in most states, the police should be notified.
Third, you should give the other driver(s) involved in the accident your name, address, telephone number, and the name of your insurance company and/or your insurance agent. You also need to get this same information from the other driver(s).
Fourth, at the first opportunity, you should contact either your insurance agent or your insurance company to notify them that you have been involved in an accident.Finally, there are a number of conditions in the insurance contract that you must satisfy in order to receive compensation from your insurer.
For example, you need to cooperate with your insurer during any investigation undertaken during the claims settlement process. Failure to complete any of these actions can, and sometimes does, result in non-payment by your insurance company for losses that otherwise would have been covered.
Why does the premium for my automobile insurance go up if I have an accident or if I get a ticket?
Actuaries and statisticians who have compared and studied the claiming behavior of people involved in accidents have long known that people who have either had an accident or received a ticket recently are more likely to have another accident in the next couple of years than people whose recent driving record has been incident free.
Insurance companies use this information not to punish people who have had an accident, but to charge them the premium that most accurately reflects their likelihood of having an accident. People who are more likely to have accidents should reasonably be expected to pay higher premiums.