Road accidents occur on a regular basis, but it’s best to be prepared in the event of an accident. Here’s what you can do when it happens.
Whether we like it or not, accidents happen! In fact, about 50% of corporate vehicles will incur an accident or incident each year - from minor scrapes to serious road accidents involving other vehicles.
What to do before an accident occurs
Make sure you are acquainted with your insurer’s emergency telephone numbers and claim logging details or process by saving the details on your phone or printing and storing it in your vehicle.
- Double check what services your insurance company provides and what they require you to do as the insured in the event of a claim. Most insurers will arrange for towing and will manage all phases of repairing your vehicle. To eliminate delays in the process, notify your insurer by using the details provided and follow their required process. Generally, insurers will require you to log the incident telephonically and some will need a completed claim form.
- If it’s not already there, ensure a “do not tow” sticker, provided by your broker or insurer, is placed on the front windscreen on the driver’s side.
When an accident happens
1. In the event of an accident where the vehicle is non-drivable, contact your insurer immediately to log the incident. They’ll probably dispatch the nearest available towing unit to the scene. If your insurer offers tow-in assistance, don’t allow any another towing operator, other than the one communicated to you, to tow your vehicle. Unnecessary towing and release fees could be incurred by you.
2. Once the call has been logged, you’ll most likely be required to fully complete a claim form that will be sent to you. The completed claim form, together with a clear enlarged copy of your driver’s licence, must be sent back to your insurer as soon as possible to speed up the claims process and reduce the possible down time of the vehicle. Most insurers will not issue an instruction to start the repair process until these documents have been received.
3. Your insurer may only work with specific panel beaters and, in this case, you may be advised which panel beaters will be in contact with you in order to compile the necessary quotes. Use the recommended panel beaters as using any other company could mean you have to incur these costs.
4. Your insurer should then manage the entire process, which may include:
- Dispatching the necessary towing suppliers;
- Obtaining necessary quotes from preselected suppliers;
- Obtaining an assessors report, if applicable;
- Issuing the purchase order;
- Managing the work in progress;
- Issuing a replacement vehicle (if you are covered for this);
- You should be advised as soon as your vehicle is ready for collection.
The do’s and don’ts of accidents
- Seek medical attention and legal advice, if necessary.
- Report the incident to the police or traffic department within 48 hours of the incident. You must also obtain a case number and a copy of the incident report.
- Obtain the name and surname, residential address, telephone number and ID number, as well as the vehicle registration numbers and insurance details of all parties involved in the incident.
- Obtain details from independent witnesses, including their names, residential address and telephone numbers.
- Take as many photographs of the scene and the vehicles involved as possible.
- Don’t drive the vehicle if you feel it’s unsafe.
- Don’t discuss the accident with anyone except the police or traffic authorities, your insurer and employer, if it’s a company vehicle.
- Don’t allow the vehicle to be towed by anyone other than a service provider approved by your Insurer.
- Don’t ever admit guilt.
Always make sure you follow the correct procedures in the event of an accident. If you’d like us to assist with the accident management for your fleet, contact us below:
*EQSTRA Financial Services is an authorised financial services provider offering its customers custom designed comprehensive motor cover, underwritten by Guardrisk Insurance Company, and tailored to provide a total accident control program resulting in overall fleet cost reduction. Call us on 0861 Eqstra (377872) to see if we can help you.