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Commerce Commissioner urges Minnesotans to protect themselves, property after a crash

September 18, 2012

For Immediate Release  

ST. PAUL, MN — Every minute of every day, a car accident occurs. To help ease the confusion of what information to share in a stressful situation, the Minnesota Department of Commerce announces the launch of WreckCheck Mobile App by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

A recent survey from the NAIC indicates many Americans do not know what steps to take or what basic information to share after an accident.  Almost 1 in 5 respondents believe that injuries are the only reason to call the police to the scene of an accident.  

“Unfortunately, car accidents happen all too often, which can require significant time to heal and recover lost property,” notes Commissioner Mike Rothman.  “Minnesota consumers can protect their identities and prevent fraud by downloading WreckCheck and being aware of the steps to take after an accident.”

Commissioner Rothman also reminds consumers that identity theft is on the rise in the United States and many retailers accept driver’s license numbers and other information listed on state-issued IDs as a verification of identity – the very information Minnesotans believe they need to share after a car accident.

In response to their survey and the ever-increasing threat of identity theft, the NAIC has created the new WreckCheck Mobile App for smartphones.  The new app provides a step-by-step process to help consumers create their own accident report in a stressful situation.  In addition, the app encourages crash victims to capture photos, document the scene, and share only the necessary information like their names and vehicle insurance information.  As an added bonus, users of the WreckCheck App can email their reports directly from their phone to themselves and their insurance agents.

What to do if you’ve been involved in an accident:

  • Call 911 – Whether or not you are injured, filing a police report can help facilitate the insurance process.
  • Collect the name and vehicle insurance information of the other driver after the accident.  You do not need to provide your driver’s license, which includes your driver’s license number and home address.  Sharing personal information can but both your property and safety at risk.
  • Document the accident – Take photos or quickly write the description of the accident while the situation is fresh in your memory.
  • Submit an incident report or a police report – Official reports can assist when you file your claim.

Please visit the Minnesota Department of Commerce website for more tips and information regarding Minnesota specific FAQs of the claims process.  Consumers with insurance questions, concerns, or complaints can call the Commerce Department’s Consumer Help Line at (651) 296-2488 or (800) 657-3602, by email at consumer.protecion@state.mn.us, or mail at the Minnesota Department of Commerce, 85 7th Place East, Suite 500, Saint Paul, MN 55101.