Most trips to and from a home inspection appointment are pleasantly uneventful. Yet every year, about 5 million vehicle trips will result in an accident. As a Pillar To Post franchisee, it’s important you know what to do after an auto accident and how you can protect yourself and your business before you get behind the wheel.

What to Do Before an Accident

Plan for the unexpected even before you fasten your seat belt. Making sure you are as prepared as possible in case you have an accident can reduce stress and lead to a better outcome. Always keep these items in your vehicle at all times:

  1. Vehicle registration
  2. Driver’s license
  3. Insurance documents
  4. Fully stocked first aid kit

What to Do at the Scene of the Accident

If an auto accident occurs, the right actions are key to remaining safe and gathering the information you’ll need to handle a claim. Follow this checklist:

  1. Take a deep breath and remain calm. Stay focused so that you can check in on the other driver, communicate with any first responders and contact any clients to reschedule.
  2. Check for injuries. If you are injured, call 911 or ask someone else to call for you. Check on the wellbeing of others at the scene and call for help if needed. It is important not to try not to move anyone who may be seriously injured.
  3. Notify the police. Contacting the police right away is important and may even be required in your jurisdiction. The police report of the accident will be important for insurance purposes, so be sure to file a report, even in the case of a minor accident.
  4. Exchange information. If there is another driver involved in the accident, obtain information such as name, contact information, insurance carrier and policy number, license number, license plate number, and vehicle color, make and model. Share your information as well, but do not sign any document other than the police report.
  5. Speak to witnesses. If there are witnesses to the accident, collect these names and contact information, as well. Do not admit fault when speaking to anyone at the scene.
  6. Take pictures. If possible, use your mobile device to document the accident. Take photos of the damage sustained by both vehicles, the other car’s license plate and other aspects of the incident. However, don’t take photographs of the other party’s personal documents and don’t allow your own license or registration to be photographed.
  7. Remain at the scene. Police procedures can take minutes to hours, depending on the complexity of an accident. Be patient and polite and wait for the police to tell you that you may leave.

What to Do After an Auto Accident

After you get back to the office, there are more steps to take to ensure your claim will go as smoothly as possible. Follow these steps:

  1. Notify your insurance company. Call as soon as possible to inform your insurer about the accident. If you aren’t sure what information you’ll need to gather, consider making a first call from the scene of the accident to ask your questions.
  2. Save important documentation. Track any medical treatment you receive, including documentation of any diagnoses, lab or test results, bills and receipts for your claim.
  3. Get a property damage estimate. Obtain a cost estimate for vehicular damages.
  4. Review your options carefully. Caution is the best approach when it comes to navigating the claim and settlement process. Other parties may want to settle quickly, but it’s important to understand your options and make sound decisions.

As a Pillar To Post franchisee, it’s important to ensure you have everything you need to protect the wellbeing of your business before an auto accident occurs. Commercial Auto Liability coverage is available through the Pillar To Post Franchisee Insurance Program and administered by Lockton Affinity. Policies are designed just for home inspectors and meet all franchisor requirements of Pillar To Post.

With Commercial Auto Liability, your franchise will be covered for bodily injury or property damage caused by a vehicle you hire, including rented or borrowed vehicles and vehicles owned by others. To learn more, contact Lockton Affinity today and find out how to protect your business.

With Lockton Affinity’s Pillar To Post Franchisee Insurance Program, you also have access to Personal Auto Liability Insurance through Mylo.