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 things 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 steal from you as well.

What Information Is and Isn’t Necessary?

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners drivers should only provide their name and automobile insurance details, which should include the number and carrier’s contact. Sharing 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 motorists surveyed believe that they should share driver licence information including number and some think it is all right to allow the third parties to photograph the licence as a convenient way of getting it right. Licences have plenty useful and important facts for identity thieves.
  • A quarter of them are willing to offer home address in case of accidents. This is clearly where the car is registered and therefore they need one or two small things more to get the required facts for identity theft.
  • One third of people had no problem offering phone numbers. It 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 these cases will help drivers avoid any headaches. In most cases police will prepare a report covering all the required points and give a copy to parties involved. Again, about twenty percent of people believe that they do not need to call the police for a report if there are no injuries. This is not always true.

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

Today there are phone apps that guide people through these incidents. They can help fill the incident 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.

What Not to Tell Third Parties in Accidents?

Most vehicle insurers are worried that policyholders will tell things they shouldn’t at the scene. This can tie their hands. For example, keep apologizing and accepting fault will encourage others to blame you even though they know they are at fault. You should not accept liability.

At the end of the day, car insurers will pay for the damages and they should be allowed to argue on your behalf and try to reduce exposure. It is best to keep it simple and not to say anything in these situations. Also, don’t be too keen or aggressive to collect information. You now know what is required and you shouldn’t push for more, especially when people are not willing to provide.

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