How to Exchange Insurance Information

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Exchanging insurance information is an important part of dealing appropriately with an auto accident. Unfortunately, because auto accidents are stressful and frightening, it's sometimes hard to do it correctly in the moment. For some, it helps to keep a written, step-by-step guide in the same place as your insurance information to help you navigate through this trying part of modern life. Many insurance companies now include this kind of guide with their cards. If not, you can always make one by hand or on your computer.

Things You'll Need

  • Insurance card
  • Pencil
  • Paper

Giving Your Information

  • Keep your insurance information in an easy to access and identify place in your car, such as a colored envelope in your glove box. Do not keep it with all your other automotive papers. You don't want to shuffle through three years of oil change receipts during an already stressful situation.

  • Show the other party the card provided by your insurance company. Most companies provide cards you can give away to keep. If not, let the other party write down the pertinent information.

  • Show the other party your photo identification to confirm that you are who you say you are, then ask to see their ID.

  • Instruct the other party to call your insurance company if they have any concerns. Do not give out your phone number or contact information unless instructed to do so by a law enforcement officer.

Getting Their Information

  • Ask to see the other party's insurance information and photo identification.

  • Check the photo identification against the name on the insurance paperwork. If it doesn't match, ask for an explanation.

  • Check the insurance information against the vehicle's model, make, color and license plate. If it doesn't match, ask for an explanation if you feel comfortable doing so. If not, simply note what you observe and report it to the police.

  • Take note of the policy number, insurance company name, insurance company phone number, vehicle license plate and policy holder's name. Like your company, the other party's insurer might provide all pertinent information on a card for you to keep. If not, write it down.

  • Agree on the date, time and location of the accident. Write this information down.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you can, it's a good idea to call your insurance company directly from the scene of the accident. A customer service representative will walk you through the process step by step.
  • Before exchanging information, make certain all parties and passengers are safe from harm. Get medical attention for those who need it before dealing with legal matters. Safety from harm extends not only to accident-related injuries, but also to the mental state of the other party. If the other party seems aggressive or violent, see to your safety first.

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References

  • Photo Credit Crash on the street. German auto model 2007. image by Dariusz Kopestynski from Fotolia.com
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