Exchanging Details after Auto Accidents and Identity Theft

Many motorists would not even think about identity theft following a car crash. Also, they would not have thought about what are reasonable details to ask or provide. However, criminals are known causing accidents deliberately to defraud insurers. It would not be far-fetched to think that they would try to do both steal your identity and get money from insurers.

What Information Is and Isn’t Necessary?

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners drivers should only provide their name and automobile insurance information. The policy information should include policy number and contact details of the insurer. Sharing your personal information like home address and telephone number may put you at risk for identity theft.

Findings of the commissioners include following points;

  • About nearly forty percent of drivers surveyed believe that they should share driver licence information including number and some think it is alright to allow the third parties to photograph the licence as a convenient way of exchanging information. Driver licences have plenty useful information for identity thieves.
  • A quarter of motorists are willing to offer their home address in case of accidents. This is clearly where the car is registered and therefore they need one or two small information to get the required information for identity theft.
  • One third of people had no problem offering phone numbers. This information is not necessary and you may get calls from people you have no intention of speaking with.

Knowing what to do, say or provide in case of accidents will help drivers avoid any headaches. In most cases police will prepare a report containing all the information required by your insurers and give a copy to parties involved. Again, about twenty percent of people believe that they do not need to call police for a report if there are no injuries. This is not necessarily true.

Police would be able to carry out all the necessary checks. Especially when you believe you are innocent police report may clear you and close any points of arguments for at fault drivers. Police will also be able to check if the other drivers are intoxicated in any way that may have led to accidents.

Today there are phone apps that tell drivers what to do in case of an accident. They can help drivers fill the accident reports, take pictures and e-mail the reports. It may be a good idea to download one of these free apps and be ready to use them in case of a crash.

What Not to Tell Third Parties in Accidents?

Most auto insurers are worried that their policyholders will tell things they should not following an accident. This can tie the hands of the insurers. For example, keep apologizing and accepting fault will encourage others to blame you even though they know they are at fault. Policyholders should not accept liability.

At the end of the day, auto insurers will pay for the damages and they should be allowed to argue on your behalf and try to reduce their exposure. It is best to keep it simple and not to say anything for the sake of saying in these situations.

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