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What to do if you have a car accident

What to do if you have a car accident

Make sure you know how to safely make a car insurance claim should you be involved in an accident.

Being involved in a vehicle accident, even just a minor one, can be distressing. Hopefully it’s something that never happens to you, but if it does, it’s important to know what to do as soon as it happens and immediately afterwards.

1. Call emergency services if necessary

If the accident has created a dangerous situation – perhaps because it’s happened on a busy freeway, for example – and you need assistance, get to a safe area and call emergency services straight away. The most important thing is the safety of anyone involved in the accident, as well as any other drivers and pedestrians who may be nearby.

You should also call the police right away if the other driver doesn’t stop. Try to get as many details of their vehicle as you can should this happen, particularly their licence plate number.

2. Take down details

There’s likely to be a lot happening at the scene of an accident, so it’s important to take notes and pictures of the damage. Some important things to capture include:

  • Details of the other driver such as their name, residential address, licence number, vehicle registration number, contact details and so on
  • Description of the accident
  • Photos of the accident and, in particular, any damage to any vehicles involved
  • Time and date of the accident
  • Names and details of any witnesses (including their phone numbers)
  • Police report number if you lodge a police report

3. Contact your insurer to make a claim

Get in touch with your insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim. Typically you’ll need to provide your insurer with:

  • Your details
  • The details you’ve captured (see above)

If your car insurance is with CommInsure you can call 13 2423 at any time, day or night, or lodge your claim online. Once your claim is received, CommInsure will SMS you your claim number where possible.

4. Find a smash repairer

After you have lodged your claim with your insurer, it’s time to get your damaged car fixed. Your insurer can suggest a smash repairer, or you may prefer to nominate a repairer of your choice. If your car is unable to be safely driven, your insurer may also help you organise a tow truck. 

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. CommInsure is a registered business name of Commonwealth Insurance Limited ABN 96 067 524 216 AFSL 235030 (CIL). CIL is a wholly owned non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124.