Reporting a car accident

Getting into an accident is an extremely stressful situation and something we would prefer avoiding entirely.  Unfortunately, accidents happen and Breckles Insurance Brokers has some good tips to keep you safe if you’re involved in one.

What should I do? 

  • Remain calm and composed.
  • Stay at the scene of the accident.  Do not leave!
  • Check if anyone is injured and if everyone is safe
  • Move your vehicle to a safer location, ie. At the side of the road.
  • Make sure to not leave the vehicle while a live lane of traffic is beside you.
  • Make sure you are safe before exiting the vehicle.  Ensure to turn on your hazard signal.
  • Call emergency services (911) if there are potential injuries or if you are suspicious of any criminal activity. Do not hesitate to call.
  • Exchange information with the other driver involved.  Make sure to write down:
    • Driver license numbers
    • Names and contact information
    • Insurance policy numbers
    • License plate numbers
    • Name of the insurance company
    • Make and model of the car (If possible)
  • As soon as you can take down information, record the time of day, weather conditions, and location of the accident.
  • Call a tow truck if your car is not drivable.  Make sure before hand to find out the tow truck cost and avoid signing any work orders.   It is not a standard practice for tow truck drivers to issue a work order so if it necessary to sign one we recommend reading it in full detail.  If a police report has not been prepared at the scene and the vehicle is not drivable,  it is recommended to have the vehicle towed to the nearest Collision Reporting Centre.

When should I report an accident? 

  • The amount of damage caused to the vehicle determines the need to report a collision or not.  If the damage to both vehicles combined exceeds $2000, then by law you are required to file a police accident report.
  • You must report the accident if:
    • Someone is injured
    • Involves a government vehicle
    • If a driver does not have insurance
    • If there is a criminal act such as DUI
    • If a person was hit by the car
    • If there is property damage as a result of the accident
  • If you do not report an accident, you may be charged with leaving the scene of an accident.  You may be subject to fines, license suspension of imprisonment.  In Ontario, you must report the collision within 24 hours of the occurrence.  You can either call it in or visit a collision reporting center in your area.
  • You must report the accident to the insurance company, regardless of whether the damage incurred is under $2000.  You must also report the accident, regardless if you are paying out of pocket or not.   If you have purchased your insurance through a broker and there is minor damages to your vehicle, we recommend that you consult with your broker before calling the insurance company.  However, in the event of any major damage, bodily injury or emergency, its is best to call the insurance company directly.
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