What to do immediately after an automobile accident

Temp Car Accident

Would you know what to do if you were in a car accident?

What to do after a car accident

STEP 1 – Stop immediately. If your vehicle is involved in an accident and you don’t stop, you may be subject to criminal prosecution.

STEP 2 – If anyone is injured, if the total damage to all the vehicles involved appears to be MORE than $1,000, or if you suspect that any of the other drivers involved are guilty of a Criminal Code offence (such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol), call 911 and follow the instructions given to you by the emergency operator. Police will arrive as soon as possible.

Do not try to move anyone injured in the accident — you may aggravate their injuries!

If no one is injured and total damage to all the vehicles involved appears to be LESS than $1,000, call your local police for instructions. Police units may or may not be dispatched to the scene. If local police do not attend the scene of the accident, they will instruct you to report to a Collision Reporting Centre within 24 hours.

Collision Reporting Centres are police facilities created to assist motorists in reporting motor vehicle accidents. At the reporting centre you will be assisted in completing a police report, and damage to the vehicle will be photographed. If there isn’t a Collision Reporting Centre in the area of the accident, the police will ask you to go to the nearest police station to file a report.

STEP 3 – If it is safe to do so, move your vehicle to the side of the road, out of traffic. If your vehicle cannot be driven, turn on your hazard lights or use cones, warning triangles or flares, as appropriate.

If you have access to a digital camera or a cell phone, you should use it to take pictures of the scene; preferably before the vehicles are moved.  You should also use your cell phone to audio record as much information as possible.

STEP 4 – Write down the names, addresses, and telephone and driver’s licence numbers of all of the other drivers, the licence plate numbers of the other vehicles, as well as the names and addresses of the registered owners of the vehicles, and the insurance information for each of the other vehicles.

STEP 5 – Also obtain the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of passengers and witnesses.

STEP 6 – Jot down specific details about the scene of the accident, using the accident worksheet provided.

STEP 7 – Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. You can find the phone number of your insurance company located on the front, or back of your pink liability slips.

Remember, when you are in a car accident…

  • As difficult as it may seem, it is important that you remain calm.

  • Do not argue with other drivers and passengers. Save your story for the police.

  • Do not voluntarily assume liability or take responsibility, sign statements regarding fault, or promise to pay for damage at the scene of the accident.

  • Be careful of unauthorized tow truck operators pressuring you to have your vehicle towed, demanding immediate payment for the tow, or attempting to take your vehicle to a garage or body shop of their choice. They may try to use the confusion of the moment to intimidate you into allowing your vehicle to be towed. If you feel you are being pressured, ask the police for the name of an authorized tow truck operator and have your vehicle towed to a Collision Reporting Centre or a police compound until you can talk to your insurance company.

Be prepared for any emergency on the road

Always keep a basic vehicle first aid or emergency kit in the trunk of your vehicle. You can easily create an emergency kit for your vehicle by filling a plastic storage container with the following:

  • a basic first aid kit,

  • a disposable camera,
  • emergency road flares, warning triangles or cones,

  • a fire extinguisher (A-B-C Type),

  • a flashlight and extra batteries,

  • bottled water,

  • booster cables,

  • a tire repair kit and pump,

  • a small tool kit,

  • a towel,

  • a pair of work gloves,

  • some type of nonperishable food,

  • hand wipes,

  • a thermal blanket.

If you suspect that you may be a victim or target of a scam or fraud, you can help put an end to the scam or fraud by reporting it. As a first step, report the matter to police. You can also make a report to FSCO’s Fraud Hotline. Go to www.fsco.gov.on.ca/TipNow or call 1-855-5TIP-NOW. Tips to FSCO’s Fraud Hotline can be anonymous.

Source: http://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/en/auto/brochures/pages/brochure_accidents.aspx

 

Why Are My Insurance Premiums Still Going Up?

Insurance Premiums Rising

The Insurance industry is experiencing another year of increased insurance premiums. Why? Below is some information to help you understand what is going on within the insurance industry.

The cost of insurance is influenced by many varied factors. Details like the increased costs to repair damaged vehicles, increased instances of insurance fraud, and rising medical and rehabilitation costs for accident victims all play a role in the determination of your insurance premiums. In the past few years:

  • The number of Collision claims, and cost to repair or replace vehicles has been increasing over 10% annually.
  • Costs associated with Accident Benefits claims have been increasing 14% annually.
  • Overall claims costs were up to 50% higher in 2000 than they were in 1999.
  • The Investment Income on premiums collected by Insurance Companies has decreased drastically. (You will have experienced this in your own personal finances).

While the insurance industry has implemented cost-savings measures to try to control some of these issues, many of these factors are beyond industry control.  Like all businesses, Insurance Companies need to try to maintain profitability.  An unprofitable company cannot compete in any market place. If Insurance Companies cannot stay in business, then the number of competing Insurance markets is reduced and the effect on the insurance consumer is the elimination of choice and competitive pricing.  In light of these factors, Insurance companies have increased the premiums they charge to the consumer in order to try to remain profitable. As a result, even if you have not had a loss or claim against your policy, your insurance premium will likely go up.

There are some things you can do to help offset these increases:

  • If you have more than one vehicle insured with the same company, but on a separate policy, you could qualify for a Multi-vehicle Discount.
  • If you insure both your Home and Automobile insurance policies with the same company, you could qualify for a Multi-Policy Discount.
  • Additional savings can be obtained through Higher Deductible limits.
  • If you have a child away at College or University, and that child does not have the use of your vehicles, you may be entitled to a Discount of 15%-50% on the premium you pay for the Occasional Driver coverage for that child.
  • If you have a monitored home alarm system you may qualify for an Alarm Discount on your home insurance premium.

As your Independent Insurance Broker, we are here to represent you.  Should you have any questions or should you want to make any changes to your policy coverage, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. Increased Insurance premiums are beyond your control.  Let us help in any way we can to ensure you receive the best insurance coverage at the best value.