When an accident occurs you will find it is a very stressful time. To ease your stress there are several things Collision Pro reccomends that you do. The main thing you should know is the insurance policies of your insurance provider. Always keep your company's claim service card and your agent's name and telephone number in your vehicle. Review what information your insurance company will be wanting at the time of filing a claim. All of these important items will help you at the time of your accident to ease your state of mind.
I was in an accident, Now What?
If you are in an accident you should notify the police or law enforcement personnel immediately. Ask for the official's name, address, and telephone of the department they work for. Ask the official when the report will be filed and how you can obtain a copy.
Notify your insurance company or agent as soon as possible.
Get the names of other driver's, their addresses, work and home telephone numbers and drivers license numbers.
Write down a description of the vehicles involved in the accident and their license plate numbers. Get the names and telephone numbers of the insurance companies and agents who insure the other drivers and get the individuals' policy numbers.
Get the names, addresses, and work/home numbers of the passengers and witnesses.
Make notes describing the accident. Describe the vehicles involved, their approximate speeds, the setting, the weather, traffic signs and signals, and road conditions. Take photographs if possible or draw a diagram of the accident scene.
responsibility or blame.
A simple way to make sure that you have all the information you need is to download the "Help I Crashed MY Car" phone app to your smart phone (see side bar for link).
You Have a Choice
You have the right to go to the body or windshield repair shop of your choice. Montana law forbids insurance companies from requiring you use a particular repair shop. The insurance company is obligated to cover at least the cost of the lowest prevailing market price for complete repairs.
The lowest prevailing market price may be less than the cost of repairs at the shop you choose. You should discuss this with your repair shop before you have them work on your vehicle.
You are not required to get more than three estimates or appraisals for windshield repairs.
YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED to get more than one estimate for auto body repairs unless your policy specifically states that you must.
You have the right to choose your glass or auto repair facility!
It is wise to check out the reputation of a repair shop before you commit to doing business there. Be sure you are comfortable with the business, its employees and their work. Some things you could look for are: certifications, shop structure and cleanliness, warranties the shop offers, and customer service. You can even ask for a tour of the shop you are interest in getting your repairs completed at!
Again, to avoid confusion, you should become familiar with your policy and understand your insurance company's claims processing requirements.
If you have questions about an insurance policy, agent or company, please call the Montana Insurance Department in the State Auditor's Office at 1-800-332-6148.