Van insurance – what to do in the event of an accident

Perhaps the last thing to cross your mind when you step out of your van following an accident is keeping a cool enough head to run through a mental checklist that will help you deal with the thereafter when the here and now is a lot more pressing.

Rather, after your concerns for yourself and others involved in the incident have been allayed, your mind starts to think how much the dink’s going to cost to put right, how you’re going to get to your job/home and how much is this going to cost channeling it through your van insurance? Even more pressing and though you know you probably have, given recent survey results, you ask yourself: “have you actually taken out fully comprehensive van insurance?” especially if you know that the incident in which you’re involved is down to your lack of care and attention.

From the same van insurance company who brought us the recent survey results which suggest that seven out of ten van drivers aren’t sacrificing maximum cover, although the temptation in the current climate must be very tempting, here is a checklist of things to try to remember following a road accident if you know you’re going to have to make a claim on your van insurance policy, one way or the other:

1. Cut the power to your engine and flick on your hazards
2. Irrespective of the perceived damage, call the emergency services. The traditional 999 number if there’s an SOS box to hand or 112 if you’re using your mobile
3. Calm down, dear; it’s only an accident. Don’t let your emotions get the better of you as you will have to speak to others involved in any collision as you obtain their details. This is not only for the benefit of claiming on your van insurance but it is also legally required to submit others names with your policy documents when reporting an RTA, which, if not taken at the crash scene, must be done in person at a police station (if you are physically able) within 24 hours of occurrence.
4. Don’t admit guilt! That is not your job, but the role of your van insurance investigator.
5. Although police are bringing in more sophisticated technology to map out crash scenes, the onus is on you to capture as much evidence immediately after the incident to help speed along any subsequent van insurance claim you may make. Anything you can photograph or write down appertaining to the circumstances leading up to the accident, such as weather conditions, actions of the other driver (speed, direction, indicating, overtaking) will help your investigator piece together who was at fault.
6. If circumstances such as shock or injuries dictate that you are unable to capture this information immediately, you are advised to return to the scene to help you recall anything you may have omitted from your original statement.
7. If your vehicle is causing an obstruction and you are satisfied that nothing untoward will happen as a result, clear your van out of the way to allow traffic flow to resume
8. Call your van insurance provider. You may have no intention of making a claim, but that’s not saying the other driver(s) won’t, even if they say otherwise at the scene. If your broker is prepared, they can minimise any ensuing damages and help you to maintain as clear a license and as cheap a van insurance policy as you’ve come to enjoy.

Print off the following at-a-glance checklist (or download the pdf) and pop it in your glove box, just in case:
Basic on-scene checklist, details for van insurance claim
Your van insurance policy no.:
Make / registration of your van:
Time and date of incident:
Location:
Named driver / # of Passengers
Weather conditions
Other accident details:
a.
b.
Witnesses: YES/No;
name:
contact number:
Other driver details
Policy number (insurance)
Name
Contact
Vehicle Reg #
Police called: YES / No;
Attending officer i.d. # :
Crime number:

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