No matter how many safety features car-makers add to our vehicles, there is still the human element to deal with. Somebody runs a red light, doesn't brake fast enough, or is in too much of a hurry to notice the 18-wheeler in the next lane and an accident is the result. As more and more people get on the road, the odds increase that something will happen to you and your vehicle. Because of that fact, having quality insurance is important, whether an accident (and the resulting ticket) is your fault or not. But what happens when the accident is your fault? What if there are a few accidents and tickets that are your fault? Here's some advice on what to do and what to expect after you've had an accident.
Double-Check Your Coverage
One of the first things you should look into after you've had an accident is what exactly your auto insurance covers. Different policies from different auto insurance providers will cover you against different incidents and for different amounts. Knowing what you're covered against is a good first step to knowing what to expect financially for the future.
Contact Your Auto Insurance Provider
Even after you've exchanged information with whomever you've had an accident with, you should call your car insurance provider to let them know what has happened. While they are sure to find out eventually, calling them allows you to give your side of the story, and being proactive never hurts either.
Work With Your Car Insurance Provider
Depending on the accident, and how many you've had, your car insurance provider may increase your premiums, require you to attend classes about responsible driving, or they may simply cancel your policy. Be aware of these possibilities and be ready to work with your car insurance company to overcome any issues that may present themselves.
Get the Forms You Need
Depending on the severity of the accident, and how many you've had, your auto insurance provider, or the courts, may require that you get certain forms that acknowledge your status as a high-risk driver, or that you don't have car insurance at all. If you have North Carolina auto insurance this form is called a FS-1, and if you have Virginia car insurance it's called a SR-22, but they're essentially the same thing.
Getting Your FS-1/SR-22
Most auto insurance providers will file these for you if either they or the courts dictate that you must have one, however, if you don't have car insurance and you need either the FS-1 or the SR-22, you clearly can't rely on your car insurance company to file them for you. There are typically locations throughout any town or city that can provide the form and file it for you for a fee. Having this form is not a form of car insurance, but more an acknowledgement of your risk status or lack of auto insurance.
While you can't truly prepare for an accident, being prepared for what happens after you've had one, including knowing what to do, can help save you time and money down the line. If you're a high-risk driver then being prepared for the worst is probably the best idea as it will allow you to be prepared for whatever might come. That doesn't mean, however, that the worst will happen.
About the Author
Christy Winston is a Branch Manager for Insurance Doctor. Insurance Doctor is a leading provider of North Carolina auto insurance and Virginia auto insurance for drivers of all records.