Three Steps to Handle a Fender Bender

A few simple steps to handling a fender bender for you car insurance

A fender bender is a minor collision between two vehicles that doesn’t cause any serious damage or injury. It can include dents, dings and minor damage to the outside of the car, often on the bumper or fender, which is where the term “fender bender” comes from. These types of accidents are unfortunate but common. But what should you do after a fender bender? How do you handle it? Here are a few tips on documenting the indecent, exchanging information with the other driver, and contacting your car insurance agent to weigh your repair options.

1. Report the Accident and Document the Crash

Check to make sure you or anyone in your vehicle isn’t injured. Do the same for others involved in the accident. If someone needs medical attention, call 911. If medical attention isn’t required, call the local police to report the accident. This doesn’t necessarily mean anyone is getting in trouble, but it helps officially document the accident right after it happens. You can obtain a copy of the police report and provide it to your insurance company.

No matter the severity of a crash, be sure to take photos of both your car and the other car(s) involved to document any signs of damage. It can also be helpful to take pictures of the location of the accident. Consider making notes while the memory is fresh using the notes app on your phone to help in making the police report or filing a claim with your insurance company.

2. Exchange Information

It’s important to make sure you get the other driver’s name, phone number, insurance company and license plate number after an accident, especially if the police aren’t involved. If the police are involved, they’ll help gather this information for you and provide it in the police report. The more information you have the better, as this will ensure accuracy if you decide to file the car insurance claim.

3. Contact Your Car Insurance Agent

You’ll want to contact your auto insurance agent to understand your options and make the best decision for your situation. Depending on your coverage type and deductible amount, it may make more sense to pay for the repairs out of pocket rather than filing a claim. Your agent can answer any questions you have and assist you in the next steps.

It’s Important to Call Your Car Insurance Company No Matter What

Even if there is no damage or you were not at fault, it’s important to call your car insurance company in the event of an accident. If there’s no record of the accident, the other driver can end up reporting injury or damage that you could end up liable for. You also may discover damage later on that you didn’t notice at the scene. Your agent can help you navigate the process, whether you end up filing a claim or not.

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