Being involved in a car accident is always a shock and can be quite upsetting, but having the right insurance can make the whole process much easier and save you added stress and worry.
Immediately after the accident
You must stop the car. Do not apologise or admit fault and take the name, address and registration details of anyone else involved. It’s also worth writing down descriptions of the cars and drivers at the scene and taking photos of any damage.
If anyone is injured call an ambulance and also contact the police to explain what has happened, especially if the vehicle could cause a further accident.
Get the paperwork underway
It’s important to call your insurance company as soon as possible to let them know that you’ve had an accident. Most insurers have a 24 hour emergency helpline you can call if you have an accident.
John Lewis 24 hour Claims Helpline: 0345 610 0360
If you’re calling from outside the UK: 00 44 23 8035 2941
Confirm your details, and give as many details as possible about your claim including:
The registration numbers of all vehicles involved in the accident
Name, address and phone number of third parties involved and witnesses
Police officer’s details and police report
Photographs of the accident and damage to any of the vehicles involved.
What happens next with your car
If your car is repairable then the insurer will usually use one of their own suppliers. If you wish to use your own garage or repair centre then you will need to send your insurer several estimates so that they can choose which to use.
You may also be entitled to the use of a courtesy car until yours is fixed, which means that your life can continue as normal (only available with our Comprehensive Cover).
Once the repair work is carried out, the garage will invoice the insurance company. All repairs carried out by an approved John Lewis Finance supplier are guaranteed for three years.
If your car is beyond economical repair, or a write off, then your insurer will offer you a settlement based on the current market value of the car, minus any necessary deductions, such as outstanding payments.
We will offer you a settlement within one week of receiving the documentation, which includes the vehicle registration document (VSC) and the current MOT certificate.
Once you have accepted your insurer’s settlement, they will own your car and you must return your Certificate of Motor Insurance to them.
If your car is a write off, with a fault claim Car Insurance from John Lewis Finance will provide you with a replacement vehicle for up to 30 days as standard.
Avoiding accidents in the future
The trouble with driving is that you can be as conscientious as possible, but other drivers can still cause you problems.
A few things that are in your control:
Make sure that your car is in good working order, have the brakes tested regularly and ensure that everything under the bonnet is topped up.
Always wear a seat belt and insist that passengers do as well. If you have children, check that their car or booster seat is a high-quality one that will protect them against sudden impact.
Take frequent breaks from driving, as roads – especially motorways – can be repetitive and your eyes can get tired easily. Avoid driving if you’re tired or feeling unwell as your concentration will be lowered and you may not react as quickly as normal.
If you already have a car, do some research to find out how much you can sell it for, or whether you can you use it for part exchange.
John Lewis plc is an appointed representative (Financial Conduct Authority number 416011) of Ageas Retail Limited. John Lewis Car Insurance is provided by Ageas Retail Limited (No1324965). Registered office: Ageas House, Hampshire Corporate Park, Templars Way, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO53 3YA. Ageas Retail Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (number 312468). Ageas Retail Limited is a sister company of Ageas Insurance Limited.
John Lewis Finance and John Lewis Insurance are trading names of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (Registered Company Number 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of a panel of carefully chosen partners to offer a full range of insurance products and services via John Lewis Finance (Financial Conduct Authority number 416011).