The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has launched the new ‘WreckCheck’ cell phone application, which outlines what drivers should do immediately following an automobile accident and takes users through a step-by-step process to create their own accident report. It also provides tips for staying calm, safe and smart on the road, and makes it easy to capture photos and document the necessary information to file an insurance claim. Additionally, the app lets users email a completed accident report directly to themselves and their insurance agents. The app is free and available for both iPhone and Android smartphone users. It has been designed to help drivers that are involved in the more than 5 million accidents that take place on USA roads every year.
NAIC has introduced the new app following the results of a survey that it completed in July, which showed that many Americans do not know what steps to take or basic information to share, or not share, after an accident. The survey revealed consumers were unsure about auto accident best practices, such as when to call the police or what personal information to exchange with the other driver after an accident.
Consumers generally need only share their names and correct vehicle insurance information, which should include the phone numbers of insurance providers. Sharing additional personal information, such as driver's license numbers and home addresses, puts consumers, their property and their safety at risk. The most common misperception was that nearly 40% of respondents felt they should share their driver’s licenses, with one in six saying they would allow the other driver to photograph their licenses as a convenient way to exchange information. The risk, however, is that many retailers accept license information as a common way to verify identity over the phone.
Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States. The Federal Trade Commission estimates nearly 9 million consumers have their identities stolen each year, disrupting finances and damaging credit histories and reputations. Launching the app, NAIC president, Kevin M McCarty, said, “The last thing you’re probably thinking about following a car accident is protecting your privacy. Understanding what information to share, and with whom, will help keep you safe after an accident and decrease some of the challenges of filing a claim later on. That’s also why we created WreckCheck. The app will take the guess work out of what information to get following a car accident.”
16 August 2012
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