Being involved in an accident can be both scary and stressful. It’s important to remain calm and collect the necessary information should you need to make an insurance claim, says MiWay Head of Online Marketing, Rory Judd.
Whether it’s a small bumper bashing or a major crash – if you have ever been involved in an accident then you would recall the initial shock, especially if you did not know what to do. Accidents happen when we least expect them.
The first thing to remember is that by law you must stop your vehicle if you are involved in an accident that causes injury or the death of someone, damage to property or any animal. If only a single vehicle was involved in the accident and you did not crash into another vehicle or person, or damage property, you do not have to stop.
In a case where you have to stop, find out how much damage has been caused. You also need to give your full names, ID number, address, contact numbers and the vehicle registration number to the other person or people involved in the accident as well as the police or traffic official attending to the scene. In turn, you should try to get this information from all parties involved and any witnesses.
These details will be crucial if you need to claim from your insurance company or the Road Accident Fund, or if you want to claim the costs of repairs from the other party.
If you have a camera or your cellular phone with you, it is a good idea to take photographs at the scene of the accident. Take photographs of the other vehicles that are involved, the location of the vehicles on the scene, the damages and licence plates. The information that has been captured will come in handy at a later stage during the processing of your claim. This will also assist the investigation should there be any discrepancies, for example, regarding the extent of the damage.
Make sure to report the accident to the police, as the police do not have to be called to the scene if no-one was injured. The accident must however, be reported by both drivers at a police station or traffic department office in the area where the accident took place, within 24 hours.
If you are injured and cannot report the accident immediately, you must do so as soon as possible and explain why there has been a delay.
Contact your insurer as soon as possible in order to start the claim process. Most insurers require that you lodge a claim within 30 days from the date of the incident. As a MiWay client you can lodge your claim online by using MiXpress, which is the client self-service portal.
Other Dos and Don’ts
- Do not make any statements admitting fault as this may affect the investigation and authorisation of your claim;
- If your vehicle needs towing, only use a towing service that is authorised by your insurance company;
- If you do not have tow cover with your insurance company ask the tow truck driver for a quote before your vehicle is towed away; and
- Write down the name, contact details and vehicle registration number of the driver and tow truck and find out where your vehicle is being taken.
Remember these tips and inform your insurance company as soon as possible to ensure that you are back on the road in no time.
[ By Rory Judd, MiWay Head of Online Marketing]
MiWay is an Authorised Financial Services Provider (Licence no: 33970).