Here's our advice if you've had an accident
Ensure you're prepared for the worst by keeping a pen and paper, a first aid kit and a torch in the car.
When you call to make a car insurance claim, we'll need your personal details, description of the accident, where you are, and contact details of any third party, including passengers and witnesses.
What should I do straight after an accident?
- Try and pull into a safe place and put on the hazard warning lights.
- If you're on a motorway and can pull onto the hard shoulder, turn your front wheels towards the verge and get out of your car on the passenger side.
- Keep your sidelights on if it's dark or visibility is poor.
- Attend to anyone that has been hurt and call an ambulance if necessary.
- Call the police and obtain an incident number. If you're on a motorway hard shoulder and don't have a mobile phone, follow the posts at the edge of the hard shoulder to an emergency phone, which calls directly to the police.
- Assess the damage to your car.
The accident involved a collision with another driver
In a collision with one or more drivers, stay calm and don't admit fault or liability – if another driver admits fault, please tell us.
- Exchange details with the other driver(s): name, address, phone number, car registration number, insurance company details and policy number.
- Record names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses.
- Write down how the accident happened, including sketches if it helps. If you've a camera – and if it's safe to do so – take photos of the scene and damage to vehicles.
Then report the accident to the 24-hour AA Claimline as soon as possible – 0800 269 622.
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Following the accident
Who will deal with my claim?
Your AA personal claim advisor will record the details of your claim and explain all the available options. They'll tell you what your policy covers, including the use of a replacement vehicle.
The claim advisor will also check if you have purchased any optional upgrades, and make sure you benefit from these where applicable.
If you're unable to continue your journey we'll tell you if your policy covers travelling expenses to reach your destination, or if necessary hotel accommodation for one night.
If you or your passengers suffer injury as a result of the accident and it was not your fault, we can put you in touch with our expert panel of solicitors to deal with your injury claim.
Your AA personal claim advisor will be on hand should you have any questions about the claims process. They will contact you during the claims process to make sure everything is progressing well, and provide any assistance you need.
Depending on the accident circumstances, your claim will be dealt with by ClaimFast (our preferred accident management company) or your insurer. Your insurer's details are included in your Certificate of Motor Insurance.
For more information about ClaimFast, visit www.claimfast.co.uk.
What happens to my car if it's repairable
Both your insurer and ClaimFast have a network of approved repair garages throughout the UK. They will contact you to arrange repair work to your vehicle, and provide a replacement vehicle for the duration of the repairs.
All repairs are guaranteed for a minimum of 3 years and use manufacturer approved parts. We'll collect and return your car to you, and even clean it inside and out.
Your approved repairer will tell you when the repairs have been completed, and your policy excess must be paid to the repairer upon completion (not applicable where ClaimFast is managing the claim).
If you wish to use your own repair garage this must be discussed with your insurer. If approved by them, the repairs are not guaranteed and a replacement vehicle for duration of the repairs will not be provided.
What happens to my car if it's written off
If it's uneconomic to repair your car then your insurer will pay you its market value before the accident. The insurer's engineer will determine its market value by checking motor trade guides (eg Glass's), taking into account the model, age, mileage and condition of your car, and any extras that are fitted.
We'll replace the vehicle with a new one if you're the first and only registered keeper, and your car is less than 13 months old.
If you have purchased our AA Car Hire policy and haven't already spoken to AA Claimline team to arrange a hire vehicle please call 0800 269 622. Once arranged, your AA personal claim advisor will keep you informed on the progress of your claim, and confirm when the hire vehicle will need to be returned.
What if I've been injured in the accident?
If you or your passengers have suffered any form of injury as a result of the accident, which you don't believe to be your fault, we may be able to provide you with a solicitor.
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They'll make a claim for compensation on your behalf, which will include any other losses that you may have incurred, for example your policy excess or loss of earnings.
If you included the optional Motor Accident Plan on your policy, this significantly improves on the personal injury cover included in our comprehensive policy. For example, Motor Accident Plan pays up to £20,000 if you, or a named driver on your policy, are injured or die as a result of a car crash.
What if the accident wasn't my fault?
If you've been involved in an accident which is 100% not your fault, ClaimFast may be able to authorise repairs to your vehicle without the need for an excess fee, and your no claims discount may not be affected.
ClaimFast may also be able to provide a replacement car similar to your own for the duration of repairs, or for up to 7 days after a settlement from your insurer, if your vehicle is a total loss.
ClaimFast will recover all the costs incurred directly from the third-party insurer.
If you're unable to use this service and have comprehensive cover, your insurer will arrange repairs to your vehicle. However, you'll have to pay your policy excess and your no claims discount will be affected until the insurer successfully recovers these losses.
Call 0800 269 622 to find out more.
What if the accident was my fault?
If you have comprehensive cover, your insurer will arrange repairs to your vehicle or negotiate a settlement if the vehicle is a total loss. The insurer will also meet the cost of the third-party claim.
What should I do if the other party contacts me?
If you receive any correspondence from the third party, their insurer or solicitor, forward it unanswered to your own insurer or ClaimFast, depending on who's dealing with your claim. They'll respond on your behalf.
If you're contacted by phone please ask the caller to call us on 0800 269 622. Please don't agree to any services offered without talking to us first, as they may not be in your best interest.
What if the other driver disputes the accident circumstances?
Your insurer will always do their very best to obtain an admission of liability from the other driver or their insurer.
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They'll do this by providing evidence and the information you have supplied them with. If the evidence provided does not fully support either driver's version of events, then both insurers may need to take some responsibility.
Policy excess explained
What is excess?
An excess fee is the first 'portion' of a claim which you pay, regardless of blame, when your vehicle is repaired or it's a total loss. The excess is individual to each policy and, in the event of a claim, you only ever have to pay your own excess fee.
If you purchased the optional Excess Protection with your car insurance, you can claim back your policy excess on a claim where you're at fault or the other party involved cannot be identified.
Where can I find information about my excess fee?
Your excess fee should be on the back of your insurance certificate in the endorsements section.
Who do I pay my excess fee to?
If your vehicle is repairable, you'll need to pay your excess fee direct to the repairer. In the event your vehicle is a total loss, stolen or not recovered, your insurer will deduct any applicable excess fees from the settlement issued to you.
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If you were involved in an accident that wasn't your fault and you purchased Motor Legal Assistance from us, or it's included as standard within your policy, we may be able to recover the excess fee from the third-party's insurer.