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With impending winter storm conditions - the Commerce Department reminds drivers what to do after an accident

2/1/2016 4:33:32 PM

For Immediate Release:

With the challenges of winter weather and slippery roads, even the most careful drivers might find themselves in an accident during their commute. The Minnesota Department of Commerce reminds drivers of the steps they need to take after an accident to prepare a claim to your insurance company.

"Unfortunately, accidents do happen in winter storms, and we want consumers to be prepared as best they can,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman.  "We want all drivers to be prepared for the insurance claims process in the case of an accident."

Consumer tips

The Commerce Department reminds motorists of the steps necessary to get the auto insurance claims process started when you are in an accident:

  • According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, anyone involved in a traffic crash must stop at the crash site. Call for law enforcement and an ambulance if needed.
  • Exchange information with the other driver including name, address, phone, vehicle license number, driver license number, insurance company name and policy number.
  • Be courteous but remember that Minnesota is a No-Fault state.
  • Take pictures to document damage and the accident scene. Write down details of what happened.
  • Call your insurance company to start the claims process right away. Most policies require prompt notification of claim. 
  • Review and follow any instructions from your company about what steps to take next. The insurance company has up to 30 days to investigate the accident to determine the extent of liability and coverage.

NAIC WreckCheck

To take some of the guesswork out of a tense situation, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers WreckCheck, a free mobile app for iPhone and Android smartphones. The app walks you through the step-by-step process of creating your own accident report. It can even let you email a completed accident report to yourself and your insurance agent.

Facts on No-Fault Insurance

  • No-fault is the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) on your policy, sometimes referred to as Basic Economic Loss Benefits.
  • If you are injured in an accident, this portion of your policy pays you and members of your household, within the stated limits, for medical expenses, lost wages, and replacement services. These costs are paid no matter who is at fault. 
  • No-Fault coverage applies only to expenses resulting from injuries sustained in an accident. It does not mean that insurance companies will cover all losses in an accident regardless of who is at fault.
  • No-fault claims must be made within six months of the accident. 
  • For /commerce/consumers/your-vehicle/auto-insurance/index.jspadditional No-Fault insurance information, please visit the Commerce website.

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Commerce is here to help. 

If you have a question or complaint about your auto insurance, contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at consumer.protection@state.mn.us or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota).

Media Contact:
Ross Corson
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
P: 651-539-1463 | C: 651-368-5050 | ross.corson@state.mn.us

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