This winter has seen a lot of snow fall on Calgary, and rough roads mean a lot more crashes and fender benders. One of the best ways to save on your auto insurance premiums is to avoid getting involved in an accident, which can be easier said than done during the colder months. If you are unfortunately involved in a smash up, however, after first checking to make sure you and everyone else are ok, and second, filing your insurance claim, there is still plenty more to do.
After an Accident…
First attend to your duties as a driver after an accident, which include ensuring the well-being of you, the other party (if there is one) and other drivers by clearing your vehicles from the road if safe to do so. Then, inform the police if necessary, and your insurance company. Document as much of the scene as possible, and exchange insurance information with the other driver.
Then, you’ll need to assess the damage to your vehicle. Whether or not the accident was your fault, chances are your car will require repairs. Ask your broker or provider if they have a preferred mechanic to take your car to ensure the smoothest process if you are making a claim. Taking your car to a shop that has not been recommended does carry a slight risk, however, fortunately, most repair shops are run by fair and respectable people. Just to be on the safe side, however, it’s good to know of a few of the (thankfully rare) scams that can be perpetrated so you can spot them well ahead of time.
- Kickbacks—It’s a good bet that if your tow truck driver recommends a repair shop to you it’s likely because there is something in it for them. If their proposed repair shop is paying for referrals, it’s possible the shop is recouping their outlay through your bill. There are many reputable shops that do this, but just always be aware that you do have choices.
- Bill Padding—This takes many forms, but the most typical scenarios are: 1) Suggestions to repair things about your vehicle that were not caused by the accident. 2) “Creating” new, or expanded problems to fix that are only tenuously connected to the accident, if at all; and 3) Lowballing your estimate in order to get you to agree to start work and then wildly exceeding that number afterwards.
- Hiding The Ball—This practice is the classic “open ended” estimate, represented by a line in the estimate intentionally left blank but awaiting your signature, or is carried out by presenting a vague price range large enough to swallow any abuse of your good faith.
Roadside Assistance Policies Offer Service Guarantees’
An easy way to develop your own “repair network” if you prefer one, is to purchase a roadside assistance policy through a membership in an automobile “club” or “association” membership. These entities cultivate relationships with participating towing and repair facilities to make your roadside emergency less stressful. As these clubs or associations are keenly interested in your renewing your membership annually, they exercise high standards in choosing their preferred providers.
A solid club or program covers you on either side of the border. At a minimum, they will typically provide fuel delivery, battery jumping, short haul towing, and locksmith services. Expanded benefits include long distance towing and various financial discounts. These are a good way to get acquainted with quality service providers in smaller circumstances than a major repair.
Accident Forgiveness Coverage
One of the best ways to insulate your premium payments from the aftermath of an accident is to opt for accident forgiveness coverage. Available to drivers with good safety records, accident forgiveness coverage can allay the costs of your first accident while being covered by a particular provider.
Free Auto Insurance Quote From Lane’s Insurance of Calgary
Lane’s Insurance of Calgary is able to provide auto insurance policies from a number of nationally known companies, which means we are able to find you the best policy at the best cost, and promise to make your insurance experience a pleasurable one. In a world of 1-800 numbers and automated phone systems, we continue to provide dedicated broker services, so for as long as Lane’s is your Insurance brokerage you’ll know your broker and more importantly we’ll know you.