Carson City, NV - February 26, 2014
Metropolitan Police Department recently announced that effective March 3, 2014
it will no longer respond to or accept accident reports for minor, non-injury
car accidents on city and county streets in the Las Vegas area. In order to
help area residents who are unsure of what to do in an accident, the Nevada
Division of Insurance (Division) offers the following tips.
Before an Accident
While it is
impossible to plan for an accident, there are a few small steps drivers can
take to prepare.
- Drivers should review their
insurance policy with their insurance agent or company to make sure that they
have insurance coverage that suites their needs. The Division recommends that
drivers in Nevadaconsider
purchasing uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage pays for medical costs incurred by the driver and
the passengers in the insured vehicle, for injuries sustained in an accident in
which the other driver is at fault and either does not have insurance
(uninsured) or does not have enough insurance (underinsured) to pay all of the
Another valuable coverage is medical payments, also known as “MedPay.” This
pays for treating injuries to the driver and their passengers without regard to
fault. It provides a way for quick payment of immediate medical bills without
having to deal with the courts or waiting for another insurance company’s
drivers are required by law to have a current evidence of insurance card in
their vehicle. The Division suggests that drivers double check to make sure
they are complying with this requirement.
a small notepad, pen and disposable camera in the vehicle is a way for drivers
to ensure that they can document the details of an accident. A smartphone with
a camera and note-taking app can also suffice. Insurance carriers also
sometimes provide accident toolkits to customers upon request.
the free smartphone app WreckCheck.
Developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), this
app outlines what to do immediately following an auto accident and takes users
through a step-by-step process to create their own accident report. It also
provides tips for staying calm, safe and smart on the road, and makes it easy
to capture photos and document the necessary information to file an insurance
claim. Additionally, the app lets users email a completed accident report
directly to themselves and their insurance agents. The app is free and
available for both iPhone and Android smartphone users. If you don’t have a
smartphone, you can download the NAIC’s Accident Checklist here: http://www.insureuonline.org/auto_accident_checklist.pdf.
After an Accident
minutes and hours following an accident can be hectic and adrenaline-filled.
Here are some important things to remember in the heat of the moment:
- Remain calm.
- Assess the scene. Do not get out
of your car if it is not safe to do so.
- Check for injuries and call the
police if there are any.
- Exchange information with the
other drivers. Get: NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE, INSURER’S NAME, INSURER’S PHONE
and POLICY NUMBER for all of the drivers involved. Taking a picture of the
other driver’s evidence of insurance card is a simple way to get their
- Get names and phone numbers of
witnesses and all passengers in the vehicle.
- Take photos/video of the scene
including the damage to all cars. Cell phone photos will work to document
- Write down/record your record of
Filing the Claim
a claim can be a confusing process. To help, drivers should notify their agent
or insurance company about the accident as soon as possible while the details
are still fresh.
reporting a claim, have available your insurance card or declarations page, and
all of the information collected at the scene.
questions. Claimants should make sure they understand who's coverage pays for
which damages, and that they understand the insurance company’s claims handling
it was a multi-car accident, the insurance companies involved may investigate
the circumstances of the crash. A claims adjuster will likely want to examine
the damage to the car and talk to the parties involved about the accident. The
insurance company will use the adjuster’s findings as the basis of their
notes of all conversations had with various company representatives, repair
shops and other parties. Also keep all written material regarding the claim.
who have done the above but still feel like they need help navigating the
claims process, or those who have questions or concerns may contact our office
in Las Vegas at (702) 486-4009 and in Carson City at (775) 687-0700. Or they
can visit doi.nv.gov for more information and to file a
About the Nevada Division of Insurance
The State of
Nevada Division of Insurance is a division of the Nevada Department of Business
and Industry. It is the state agency that protects the rights of Nevada consumers and regulates
Nevada’s $11.2 billion insurance industry. It has offices in Carson
City and Las Vegas. In 2012, the
Division investigated more than 1,900 consumer complaints and recovered nearly $4
million on behalf of consumers. For more information about the Division of
Insurance, visit DOI.NV.GOV.