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You're pulling out of your driveway with the windows down and the music cranked. You're lost in the chorus of a song and — anticipating that famous high note — you're getting ready to bellow, then boom.

You never saw the minivan coming. You’re fine and so are they. But it was your fault and now you must make an at-fault accident insurance claim.

3 Dos When Filing a Car Accident Insurance Claim

Stay calm at the scene of your accident

After the car accident, process what happened and make sure you, your passengers, and anyone else involved are okay. If everyone’s fine, you can find peace in the knowledge that this is why you have car insurance.

Collecting yourself is important because you’ll want to gather all the evidence you can in advance of making your car accident insurance claim, and you’ll likely miss pieces of the story if you’re not composed.

And don’t be shy. Take pictures of everything because you never know what it could show. Maybe the skid marks left by the minivan will show that the driver was speeding down your street?

If you have Onlia car insurance, you can submit a claim right from our app. You’ll be prompted to enter all the information our Claims team will require, like photos of the incident, the location, and the other drivers' information.

If you’re with another provider, you’d call your insurance company as soon as possible while the incident is fresh in your mind, which leads us to the second do.

The insurance process and how to deal with injuries incurred

The car accident process works like this: your premiums (monthly car insurance payments) are inversely related to your deductible (what you pay upfront after a claim, and before insurance kicks in). Higher premiums equal a lower deductible.

The reverse is also true, though. A low monthly premium means a high deductible. And if your deductible will cover more than 60% of the repair work, you might be more inclined to go out of pocket. And depending on how the circumstances of the accident may affect your risk profile and, subsequently, your premiums moving forward, that 60% may drop.

But remember, if there was an injury in the accident or even the potential for an injury, the insurance company needs to know.

Do help your claims adjuster

Your claims adjuster evaluates all the evidence from the accident. They’ll provide what you need during this anxious time.

Always be sure to provide a clear and concise account of the accident and provide them with any further details they may require to ensure the situation is resolved.

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3 Key Don’ts When Filing an At-Fault Accident Insurance Claim

Don’t admit fault

From your perspective, the accident was your fault. But maybe the other driver is thinking the same thing.

What if the driver of the minivan was speeding or texting or changing the radio station? Admitting fault lets them off the hook.

Your claims adjuster — in tandem with the other driver’s claims adjuster — will decide how fault is divided and, in turn, how the cost is divided. 

Don’t negotiate with the other driver

A leading law firm that specializes in car accidents estimates the average person gets into a car accident once every 18 years or three to four times over a driver’s life. With any luck, all three to four of yours will be with pleasant people who want a speedy resolution.

Pump the brakes on any request by the other driver to settle it all without filing a report, regardless of how friendly they might be because they may not be as generous the next morning. The damage to your car might be more extensive than at first blush.

Don’t overlook body shops affiliated with your insurance provider

The cheapest price is not always the way to go. The long-term value of a satisfied customer is always worth more to an insurance company than the nickels and dimes saved on a single job.

So, if there is a particular body shop that works with their insurance company, and vice versa, that body shop is going to repair with both the customer and insurance company in mind.

And one final do...

Be informed. Because knowledge will calm you.

You’ll be in the right frame of mind to collect evidence, engage your insurance company, work productively with an adjuster and get your car back on the road faster after the accident.

You’re pulling out of your driveway with the windows down and the music cranked. You’re lost in the chorus of a song and — anticipating that famous high note — you’re getting ready to bellow, then boom.

How to file a claim

You can find the right resources online, like this easy-to-read breakdown from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario, as well as the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s guide to dealing with the immediate aftermath of an accident and the unique process for reporting an accident involving a public vehicle in Ontario.

You can also go online with Onlia for car insurance and customize your policy from your phone. Oh, and you’ll be covered within 24 hours.

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