Make sure everyone is safe; Call 911 for ambulance assistance if needed.
Do what is reasonable to protect your vehicle from further damage.
Call the police so they can fill out a police report.
If someone is injured or the damage to property is more than $1,000, the police and the Registry of Motor Vehicles must be contacted within five days. You can do this through Eldredge & Lumpkin.
If your vehicle is stolen or involved in a hit-and-run accident, you must notify the police within 24 hours, and your insurance company either directly or through Eldredge & Lumpkin.
At the scene of the accident, secure the following information:
– Names of drivers and passengers in all involved vehicles;
– Addresses and phone numbers of all people involved in the accident;
– All vehicle identification numbers and insurance companies; and,
– License plate numbers.
Once the claim has been reported, an adjustor from the company will appraise the value of the damage. The adjustor will either view the vehicle or, if it is drivable, you can expedite the process by visiting a drive-in appraisal location designated by your company. Note: the appraised value of the damage may not be equal to the final payment.
Most companies have preferred repair shops. You can choose your own but preferred shops already are in agreement with the insurance company regarding payment scales and work quality.
Physical damage payments are subject to your deductible. Deductibles will always apply on comprehensive losses. For a collision loss – provided you have purchased the “waiver of deductible” endorsement – the deductible will only be applied if you are considered more than 50 percent at fault for the accident.
If you are considered to be more than 50 percent at fault in the accident and your company has made a claim payment of $500 or more, you may be assessed a premium surcharge. You will receive a surcharge notice in the mail. If you choose to appeal this decision, you have 30 days from the date of surcharge to respond. This process will differ by company, pending changes in the Massachusetts Auto Insurance managed competition program, effective April 1, 2008.