A bumper bashing refers to an incident where the driver hits the rear end of the car in front. In most cases, the driver at the back can be held at fault because he or she was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident. It may also be argued that this person is at fault because they failed to keep a safe following distance.
At OUTsurance, we hate bumper bashings as much as the next guy! In fact, we can just imagine how distraught you must be when someone drives into the back of your car, and especially when you may be held accountable for causing an accident. So, to help make your life a little bit easier, we’ve combined all the 'need to know' information in one document. We suggest you download, print and keep this in your cubbyhole as a quick reference guide in the event of a bumper bashing.
Step 1: As with any type of accident, stop and switch on your hazards.
Step 2: It may just be a minor bumper bashing incident, but you still need to check if anyone is injured. If so, do not attempt to remove any injured persons from the car, but rather call the relevant emergency services to assist.
Step 3: If nobody is injured and the damage to the vehicle seems minimal, you may move your vehicle to help ease the flow of traffic. If, for whatever reason, you’re unable to move your vehicle, place hazard markers on the road and call OUTsurance so that a tow truck can be sent to assist you.
Step 4: Do a proper check of the damage to your vehicle and - if possible, use your cellphone to take pictures of the damage to your car and that of the other vehicle.
Step 5: If at all possible, try to draw a sketch of how the accident took place, indicating in which direction your vehicle was travelling. Make sure to include road names, landmarks, intersections and robots.
Step 6: Most importantly, ask the other party for his/her particulars. These include:
Step 7: Both parties must visit their nearest police station within 24 hours to get a case number.
Step 8: Call OUTsurance on 08 600 70 000, even if you suspect the damage to be minor and you don’t plan to claim.
Step 9: Depending on the damage to your vehicle, we may ask you to bring your vehicle to one of our vehicle assessing centres where one of our qualified assessors will evaluate the damage. We will then get a few comparative quotes and will let you know how much it will cost to get your car repaired.
Step 10: If you want to submit a claim (i.e. you’re happy for us to pay for the damages and arrange for your car to be repaired), you only need to say the word and we’ll get the ball rolling. Alternatively, if you prefer to pay for the damages yourself, please inform us that you will not be submitting a claim in which case your OUTbonus payout will not be affected.
Stop! Never drive away from the scene of the accident, even if you’re fairly sure that you didn’t cause any damage to the car in front of you.
Repair the vehicle as soon as possible. Don’t put off bumper repairs for too long as this may cause any damage to worsen in future.
Report the accident to the police and to your insurance company – even if the damage was minimal.
The accident was not my fault, do I still need to pay an excess?
Yes. Even if the accident was not your fault and you want to submit a claim, you’ll still need to pay the applicable excess amount. After the claim has been settled, our legal team will do their very best to recover your excess from the guilty party.
If the damage to my vehicle is minimal, why do I need to tell my insurance company about the accident?
Even if you think there’s only minor damage to your vehicle (i.e. a hardly noticeable dent, chipped paintwork, a few scratches), chances are that there may be more serious damage underneath the vehicle. If you don’t assess the damage properly, you may be putting your vehicle, yourself and your passengers at risk as the vehicle will not be fully protected when the bumper’s already been damaged. A minor bumper bashing may also affect the integrity of the components.
I was driving my friend’s car – will the damages be covered?
If your friend is insured with OUTsurance and you had her/his permission to drive the car, it should have no effect on the validity of the claim.