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Risky Business

Your responsibility after an accident

By Shelly Benisch, T.R.S., C.I.C.
Posted Nov 19th 2013 6:03AM


...So you’ve just been involved in an accident or someone damaged your truck.   What do you do now?   Of course, our first action is reaction in getting out of the way of other traffic, securing the vehicle to avoid any additional damage and contacting the authorities.
Now it's time to get proactive and take down notes, names and photos with the help of your cell phone.  Often the other person who is At-Fault will admit to their responsibility during the moment, but later change their story.   All of a sudden they say you hit them.  It happens often after the shock (and apparently conscience) dissipates.   This is true in both moving vehicle accidents and especially truck parking lot fender benders. Get all the proof you can now or your insurance company may not be able to fight for you without proof.  Its your word against theirs, and you'll be paying the deductible in the claim unless they can recover the costs from the guy who hit you. So while the two of you are standing there, call your agent or 24/7 1-800 claims number to report the claim.   I f the other party is admitting fault then have them get on the phone and relay that fact.  The call will be recorded and can really help later when that "faulty memory" kicks in.
Most importantly, when the Claims Adjuster calls, you MUST assist that adjuster in the claim proceedings.  You are required to provide all information and assistance needed to assist your insurance company after the claim, i ts in your policy contract and it's in your own best interest.  

Holding back facts or treating the adjuster as the enemy is not a good idea.   Adjusters are there to settle claims and losses. They look for ways to provide what you should be be paid within your policy coverage contract.

Contrary to popular opinion, they don't look for ways to not pay a covered claim according to the policy form promised at the time of sale.  Doing so ends up in costly lawsuits that they would lose.

Misrepresentation of how a vehicle is being used is the number one reason a claim would be contested.  If you have communicated to your agent and that insurance carrier of what you do and what you need, your adjuster is your friend.
Claims Adjusters are people who are looking to clear off their desks at the end of the day and pay what's promised in the policy contract, which is why 95% of claims go smoothly if everyone understands how it works.



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