How to Avoid Being Scammed After an Accident

Getting into a car accident is a stressful event. It can be a time of confusion, anxiety and vulnerability. There are many decisions to make, and some unscrupulous people may try to get you to make the wrong ones. You can avoid becoming a target by watching for red flags and knowing how to respond.

 

If you’re involved in a collision:

  • If anyone is injured, call 911.
  • Turn on hazard lights and make sure you’re not in danger of being hit by another vehicle.
  • Take photos of the scene and the damage to all vehicles.
  • Write down information about the other driver and vehicle involved, such as license plate number, car make and model, driver’s name and insurance information. Note any odd behaviour.
  • Don’t ever apologize—it could be used against you later when determining who is responsible.
  • Don’t accept a direct offer of payment for damage from the other driver.
  • Don’t argue with other drivers. If things get heated, talk only to the police and your insurer.
  • Notify your insurer right away and describe what happened.

 

Avoid tow truck fraud:

  • Don’t just go with the first tow truck at the scene. The driver may be getting a fee to bring vehicles to a particular body shop.
  • Instead, use a tow truck service approved by your insurance company.
  • Be sure the tow truck has a municipal licensing number.
  • Carefully read anything the tow truck driver asks you to sign.
  • Insist that your vehicle be towed to a body shop or other location that you’ve chosen. In some jurisdictions this may be a collision reporting centre.

 

Beware of auto repair fraud:

  • Be aware that there are dishonest repair shops that will purposely damage your vehicle or inflate the numbers to boost the repair bill.
  • Use body shops recommended by your insurer.
  • Get a written estimate from the body shop before going ahead with repairs.

 

If you’re injured:

  • See only trusted medical and legal professionals. Check their credentials through licensing regulators.
  • Read your policy to understand the extent of your medical coverage and know what your settlement includes.
  • Keep detailed records of your medical appointments and services received and compare your records against the statements you receive.
  • Never sign a blank insurance claim form.

 

The Personal Insurance Company, CDSPI’s partner for home and auto insurance*, provides preferred rates for the dental community. They also provide plenty of good advice for drivers in these Hub articles:

How to Get Lower Car Insurance Rates

7 Ways to Avoid Distracted Driving

 

It’s worth it to compare. Get a quick quote for auto insurance or call 1.877.277.7230 to see how much you may save on home insurance.

 

* CDSPI Home and Auto Insurance is underwritten by The Personal Insurance Company and distributed by CDSPI Advisory Services Inc. Home Insurance is not available to residents of Quebec. Auto Insurance is not available to residents of Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

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