Being involved in a car accident is never a pleasant experience, especially if you are one of the 1.1 million tradies in Australia that rely on their commercial vehicle to make a living each week.
For a tradie, having your ute, van or truck off the road for repairs can have serious financial consequences.
Knowing what to do both immediately after an accident and during the repair process can save you a world of headaches and keep costs to a minimum.
So, You’ve Been Involved In An Accident… Now What?
First off, remain calm. Accidents happen and losing your cool about the damage to your new Toyota Hilux is not going to help the situation. Take a deep breath, count to ten and try to remain as calm as possible.
Now it is time to assess the situation. Are you hurt? Are your passengers hurt? Are the people in the other vehicles hurt? Call 000 if necessary and provide assistance to others if it is safe to do so.
If the accident was minor and the vehicles involved are still drivable, consider moving to a safer location away from the flow of traffic. Think side streets, nearby carparks or driveways so you can focus on recording the details of the parties involved and how the accident occurred.
If your vehicle has sustained serious damage and is no longer drivable it will need to be towed from the accident scene. If you are in a major city, local towing operators may already be aware of the accident and are on their way to assist. If the accident occurred after hours or in a remote location, call 000 or research local towing companies and contact them for help.
PRO TIP: You have the right to choose which towing company you use to transport your vehicle and do not have to use the first company to arrive on the scene.
Recording Accident Details And The Drivers Involved.
This is where it pays to take your time!
After an accident, many drivers make mistakes and forget to record key pieces of information. Names, contact numbers and vehicle registrations are the most obvious details to record yet are often the most common which people forget to write down.
Forgetting to record certain pieces of information may result in you having out of pocked expenses with your insurer. Take it slow and get it right!
Key details to record about the accident are:
- Drivers names
- Contact Numbers
- Vehicle Registrations
- Insurance Information
- Time, Date and location of the accident as well as a detailed description of how the accident occurred.
If any of the parties involved refuse to provide their details, contact the police immediately.
Independent witnesses can provide valuable, impartial insights into what happened in the accident. Ask independent witnesses who saw the accident to provide their name and contact information so they can be contacted by your insurer if required.
PRO TIP: A picture is worth a thousand words. Take as many photos of the accident scene as possible in addition to the party’s drivers’ licence and vehicle registrations.
Accessing A Tradie Replacement Vehicle.
If your tradie work vehicle has been damaged, you are going to need a suitable replacement while your vehicle is in for repairs. This is where TradieSpec come into play. As the only 100% tradie dedicated replacement vehicle provider in Australia, you can guarantee that we have your back.
Your Rights As A “Not At Fault” Driver. In Australia, not only is the “At Fault” party in an accident liable to cover the cost of your repairs, they are also liable to cover the cost of your replacement vehicle while yours is off the road!
How Long Can You Have A TradieSpec Replacement Vehicle? You are entitled to a TradieSpec replacement vehicle for the period of time that your vehicle is off the road or until the date you receive settlement for the total loss of your vehicle.
I am “At Fault”. Can I Still Access A TradieSpec Replacement Vehicle? If you were deemed the At Fault driver in the accident TradieSpec can still help you get back on the road. If you selected the “Hire car” option on your insurance policy, you may be entitled to claim the cost of a tradie replacement vehicle through your insurer or you can direct hire from us at our competitive daily rates.
PRO TIP: Contact TradieSpec before speaking with your insurer for the best, obligation free information regarding a tradie replacement vehicle. We will be happy to provide any advice we can.
Repairing Your Tradie Vehicle
So, your tradie work vehicle is damaged and you need to get it fixed! The quality of repairs you receive can vary greatly from one repairer to another, so it is important to choose who repairs your vehicle wisely.
If you do not have a repairer in mind TradieSpec can recommend smash repairers in your local area which provide high quality repairs and have outstanding customer service.
Third Party Claims: If you were “Not At Fault” in the accident you have the option to go through the “At Fault” driver’s insurance company if they have lodged a claim. This option guarantees you the right to choose your own repairer which may not be available under your own policy. Contact the “At Fault” driver and ask them to provide their insurer and claim information and contact your local smash repairer of choice.
Going Through You Own Insurer: If you were “At Fault” in the accident or you choose to have your vehicle repaired through your own insurance company, you will be required to lodge your own insurance claim. Depending on the specifics of your policy, you may not have the option to choose where your tradie vehicle is repaired. Read the terms and conditions of your policy and see where you are entitle to have your vehicle repaired.
PRO TIP: If you only carry third party property insurance on your tradie vehicle and were involved in a Not At Fault accident with an uninsured driver, your own insurance policy may still cover repairs to your vehicle up to a fixed amount. Check your product disclosure statement from your insurer for specifics in this area.
How Can You Be Better Prepared?
Many tradies would not have considered how losing access to their work vehicle would impact their business. So you are better prepared in the unfortunate event of an accident some steps we recommend are:
Ensure you have “Hire Car” on your policy: If you rely on your tradie vehicle for work, you should have the hire car option selected. This is a no brainer! Having the “Hire car” option selected will guarantee you have access to a vehicle when yours is off the road.
Speak with a broker: Insurance brokers work for you and your businesses to ensure you have the appropriate coverage and get the best deal. Brokers can save you time and money on your comprehensive policy with favourable terms and conditions such as “Choice of repairer” and “Hire car” following an accident.
Switching Insurers: If you do not go through a broker, be diligent in shopping around for the best deal on your comprehensive car insurance. Many insurers offer introductory deals to entice new customers and then gradually alter the coverage over time. Shopping around each year ensures you always get the best deal and can save you and your business hundreds of dollars.
If you have been involved in an accident and are still unsure what to do please feel free to contact the TradieSpec Team on 9533-2393. Our staff are always happy to provide obligation free advise and guide you in the right direction.