After The Crash: First Things First

No one wants to admit they goofed up, especially when it causes damage or even possible injury. But, accidents happen. Keep calm and assess the situation. Check on all passengers and then call the police.

Speak to the other car’s driver to exchange names, numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers and basic insurance information. That’s all the information that they should need to work with the insurance companies.

Stay Put – and Quiet

Never leave the scene of the accident until you’ve settled things with the other driver and the police. Be polite to the other driver, but do not say more than needed. Don’t apologize or admit doing anything wrong to the other driver on the scene. This can be construed as an admission of fault later on.

Even if you believe that the accident was your fault, it’s best to let the police make that decision.

Make These Calls

Call your insurance company as soon as you can to let them know about the accident. Keep the police report handy for information. They may offer you a settlement amount quickly, but that may not be your best bet. First offers are rarely the best they can do. If necessary, hire a lawyer to plead your case and get the best settlement.

If the other driver does press charges for injuries or damage, contact a lawyer who specializes in auto accidents to help you. Even if you think the accident was your fault, it doesn’t mean you’re on the hook for huge sums of money.

How Your Insurance Matters

There are a lot of options out there for car insurance. The trick is to get coverage that will actually help you when you need it without paying for coverage that will do you no good. It pays to know the coverage laws in your state. Liability insurance is required nearly everywhere. Some states follow no-fault laws while others determine who is at fault in an accident, which can have a huge impact on the insurance payouts.

[Whose at fault? Here's what investigators look for]

Remember, if you still owe money on your car loan, your auto lender may have some stipulations on the coverage you use. Knowing the basics will help you choose coverage that will help you when needed without spending more than you should.

Moving Forward With A New Car

You’re ready for an upgrade on wheels. You cruise the lot and then you see her. She’s sleek, just the right color, and surprising within your price range. Hold on. That price you see on the window is just the beginning. There are a lot of factors that go into the insurance figures on your dream car.

Does it have a high safety rating? What is the horsepower? More horses under the hood equals higher insurance. Do thieves tend to like this particular model? The list of the most expensive cars to insure is riddled with sports cars and snazzy luxury cars while the least expensive list includes some surprisingly fun alternatives.

Avoiding Future Problems

When you hear that crunch of metal on metal you may feel an instant pang of panic even though it’s just a fender bender. That’s the uncertainty. But by knowing your coverage, you can avoid that. It’s no fun, but doing a little research on car insurance pays off. Get covered for what you need, get the right car for the insurance you can afford, and put the phone down. You and your friend can LOL when you meet for lunch, not on the way there.

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