Minor accidents are easy to overlook, but this negligence can leave a long-lasting impact on your car. Whether you bump your car against another vehicle in the parking lot or have a minor collision, it might be tempting to go for a private settlement.
Even insurance brokerages like Surex would recommend not filing a claim for minor damage. Claiming the benefits might result in increased premiums in the coming years.
Minor accidents are often referred to as fender bender ones since the car’s fender absorbs most of the impact and bends as a result in most cases. So, what exactly should you do if you are involved in a fender bender accident? Read on to know the right course of action after facing a fender bender.
Reporting the accident to the police
In some provinces like Ontario, you need to call in the police if the combined casualties on both sides exceed $2,000. This value might slightly differ in other Canadian provinces.
Now, for smaller cars in Canada, the fender may cost you $500 to $1,500 if you go for a replacement. In larger cars, replacing a fender can go up to $4,000. Depending on the loss, you should decide whether to call the police or not.
If you inflicted third-party damage or injured a bystander, you need to call the police. Besides, any severe injury or death would require you to involve law enforcement officials. Again, if a minor accident involves a government vehicle, you should inform the police.
Other situations where the police should be called included cases in which a driver was under the influence or any of the drivers did not have insurance.
Things to do if a fender bender accident occurs
Even if the small accident results in a tiny dent on your fender, make sure to stop your vehicle at the nearest spot possible. Evaluate the body for potential damages and injuries of the occupants. Call the police if anyone is injured. Next, take videos and snapshots of the accident site and damage. In case you want to file a claim later on, these photos would serve as evidence.
Whether or not you report the accident to the police, make sure to inform your insurer. You might not file a claim immediately, but it’s wise to let them know. Maybe, you may detect a problem with the engine after assessing the damage, which might take a few days.
Inspect your car for possible damages
Although a superficial inspection reveals no major issues with your car, a fender bender accident might cause long-term issues. So, hire a certified automobile mechanic to evaluate the following aspects.
- After the accident, check whether the sound of the engine is all right.
- Check the undercarriage to spot leaking fluid.
- Try to detect any foul smell or smoke around your car.
- Watch out for the tires and check whether they retain proper air pressure.
- Examine the area of impact and find dents or imperfections.
- Inspect whether any major component of the car, like the engine, is located close to the impact area`.
Unless you assess these aspects after a fender bender car accident, minor damages can aggravate to expensive repairs.
This explains why it’s crucial to inform your insurer about the incident on time.
Would a private settlement work for a fender bender?
Drivers often wonder what to do in fender bender; logically, both drivers would try to play safe and refrain from informing their insurers. However, if any of the drivers reach out to the police or file a claim, the private settlement won’t work. In most minor accidents, it’s wise not to file a claim.
Why would you pay a higher premium if you can fix the dent or scratch yourself? Instead, informing the insurance company keeps the door open to filing a claim later if the condition of your car aggravates.
In any case, you should collect physical evidence and the contact details of the other driver. Some drivers may even inform the police so they can submit the report to their insurer if they want to file a claim later on.
What information should you collect at the accident site?
Whether it’s only a fender bender accident or your car suffered some internal damage becomes clear only after you consult a mechanic. A fender bender might appear deceiving at the accident site. Therefore, it’s wise to stay safe and collect the following information at the site of the accident.
- Name, address, and contact details of the other driver
- If possible, the license number of the at-fault driver
- The policy number and insurer of the accused party
- Photos and videos of the other vehicle and the damaged area
- Contact information of the witness, if any
With this information, it would be easy to claim compensation later on through the liability insurance policy of the other driver if your expenses mount.
What would be the impact of fender bender accidents on your premium?
If the damage doesn’t exceed $2,000, your insurer won’t increase your insurance premiums. So, it would be wise to report the accident to your insurance company if the damage is minor. You won’t be shelling out a higher premium after the accident. However, you would be keeping the doors open for claims if any issue arises with your car later on.
What to do if you’re involved in a fender bender — Endnote
Whether or not you file a claim following a fender bender accident, you would like to remain on the affordable end while paying premiums. You can keep your premiums low by consulting reputed insurance brokerages.
Experienced professionals working with brokers will help you compare quotes from multiple insurance providers. They would also advise you on whether or not to file a claim, considering the extent of damage and your deductible.
Before purchasing car insurance policies in Canada, most owners prefer consulting reputed brokers. With professional advice and support, you can be on track while choosing something as important as your automobile insurance policy.