A car accident can instantly turn your life upside down and cost you a lot of money to repair your or the other driver’s car.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do and whose insurance company to call in case of a car accident, regardless of being a temporary car insurance policy or a permanent car insurance policy.
When involved in an accident, you want to stay calm. The repercussions of a car accident are determined in the moments directly after the accident. Here’s a step-by-step guide with advice on what to do after an accident and who to call:
- At the scene of the accident, you should stay calm. Turn on your car’s hazard lights, and drive to the side of the road, away from oncoming traffic, if possible.
Once your vehicle is parked, check on the other cars involved. If the other driver hits your parked car, you can skip to step 3.
- Proceed to check on the people involved. You should see if anyone sustained any injuries. Also, look for injuries on yourself. Do not try to treat any injuries, especially not if someone has been hurt a great deal.
You might need to call the police and emergency services. You should also call the car’s owner if it is not your car.
- Swiftly but respectfully collect the car insurance details, vehicle registration number, and contact details of the drivers of all the vehicles involved in the car accident.
It’s important to collect the information for your insurance claim. At this point, you may want to document the scene of the accident. Gather as much information as you can to provide evidence for your insurer, including photos.
Speak to the other drivers involved. Ask for their insurance details respectfully. Note their car registration number and ask for their contact details. Using the DVLA site, you can confirm their car details, and for insurance details use the askMID site.
- Take pictures of the street and the road quality, depicting the driving conditions. Additionally, capture any road markings.
Note any witnesses and ask if they are willing to provide a statement. It is not a legal requirement for a witness to help you, but if they agree, you should take their contact details.
- Share your insurance details with anyone within reasonable grounds of asking for them, as well as your contact details. If you prefer, you can share your address with the drivers of the other vehicles involved in the accident.
You are obligated to share your address when filing a police report.
- Make a claim. If you are a temporary driver, you can claim through your insurer. More on this later. Regardless, if you are driving somebody else’s car, you should still call the main driver/owner, as they will need to report the accident to their insurer.
Car insurance companies offer a variety of car insurance packages. The level of protection that you, as the insured, receives depends on your insurance premium.
So, if you’re in a car accident as the main driver, you should contact your insurance company to report the accident. You might need to make a claim, if necessary.
However, if you’re borrowing someone else’s car and are involved in a car accident, things will work slightly differently. Here’s why:
- Named driver: If you’re a named driver on someone’s car insurance policy, you should contact their insurer and report the car accident as soon as possible.
- Temporary driver: If you are merely driving someone’s car temporarily, you should take on temporary car insurance. In case of an accident, you will call your short-term car insurance provider to report the accident and file a claim if needed. Main drivers can also take out temporary car insurance on their cars when lending it to someone.
- Driving Other Cars (DOC) policy: If you opted for cover while driving someone else’s car, you should call your insurer in the event of an accident. The main driver should also be contacted to report the accident to their insurer.
If you are a named driver on the main driver’s car insurance policy, you will enjoy the same level of coverage as the main driver. With that said, it depends on the type of car insurance product the main driver has.
Suppose the main driver, i.e., the owner of the car, has fully comprehensive car insurance. In that case, the named driver will also benefit from the comprehensive coverage. If you do not know the level of cover that the car owner has, then it’s best to ask.
If you are not in the position to ask, then cover yourself with short-term insurance, such as daily car insurance.
Most insurance policies stipulate that your no-claims discount will be impacted or stripped if a named driver is involved in a collision.
In the event of an accident, it is best to ring your insurance company first. Your insurer’s contact details should be listed on your policy documents and on their website.
If you are the at-fault driver, you need to let your insurer know in advance before you admit fault on the scene or to the other drivers.
Your insurer will thoroughly assess the situation to ensure that you are the at-fault driver. They will also communicate and negotiate with the insurance companies of the other parties involved.
If you are not the at-fault driver or if you don’t plan on claiming, you should still call your insurance company to report the accident.
Calling your insurance company well in advance also allows them to protect your interest if a claim is made against you. This is why it’s important to note everything at the scene, as it’s best for you to protect yourself, not just your no-claims bonus.
Drivers need to meet the following criteria to receive Fully Comprehensive temporary car insurance:
- Aged 18 to 75 for private cars
- Aged 21 to 75 for commercial cars
- Valid driver’s license that’s at least six months old
- Full UK or EU/EEA license for at least six months if aged between 18 to 25
- Full UK or EU/EEA license for at least three months if over 25
- Less than two claims, losses, and accidents were reported in the past three years
- Less than six penalty points in the past three years
- A resident of the UK for at least 12 months.
- Proof of permanent address within the UK
- Clear criminal record
- Clean driving history for the past five years, no bans
- No past insurance issues such as cancelling a policy, having a policy voided or denied
- Registered in the UK
- Minimum value cars and vans are set at £500, subject to age restrictions
- Maximum value cars are set at £60,000
- Maximum value vans are set at £25,000
- Weight for cars and commercial vehicles limited to 3.5 tonnes
- Used within the UK, no foreign use, importing or exporting
- No imported vehicles or left-side driving vehicles
- No modifications, such as factory-fitted extras, unless installed for a disabled driver or passenger. LPG conversions are also accepted.
- Five-seat cap for commercial cars
- Eight-seat cap for other vehicles that are not rentals or hired
- Usage is limited to social, domestic, and pleasure or social, domestic, and pleasure plus commercial use
- Valid MOT has never been declared as SORN with DVLA
- It has never been seized by the police and has never been impounded unless the vehicle had impound coverage
- No motor racing, motor trade, track days, or pacemaking vehicles allowed
- No transporting hazardous items or travelling to hazardous places
- Services not provided to vehicles operated by claims, accident management, or credit hire company.
Basic insurance is a legal requirement in the UK. Expect a fixed penalty fine of £300 at a minimum and an addition of 6 points on your driver’s license.
Yes, your insurance can increase in the event of a collision, even if you are not at fault.
No, avoid contacting the other driver’s insurance company directly. Your insurer can negotiate for you to protect your interests, and the other driver should contact their insurer.
Call your insurance company and the owner of the vehicle in the event of an accident. At GoShorty, our fully comprehensive short-term insurance can protect all qualifying drivers, contact us to see how we can assist you further.