men trying to find an agreement after a car crash

What are the Necessary Insurance Details to Give in an Accident?

January 23, 2024

Accidents are never a welcome occurrence, but being prepared and knowing the right steps to take can significantly ease the process. One key aspect is understanding what insurance details to give in an accident; being readily-equipped with this knowledge not only streamlines the aftermath of a road accident, but also ensures that you adhere to legal requirements and the correct insurance protocol after an accident. Let’s take a closer look at all the key details you’ll need to exchange in the event of a collision on the road.

Why It’s Important To Share Insurance Details After an Accident

The immediate aftermath of a car accident can be chaotic and stressful, however, it's essential to stay calm and exchange insurance details with the other party involved. This isn’t just a courtesy; it’s a legal requirement in many cases. Exchanging insurance information enables both parties to handle the incident more efficiently, and it forms the foundation for any claims process - particularly when claiming for a non-fault accident.

Necessary Insurance Details to Exchange

When you're involved in an accident, here are the four specific details you should exchange with the other driver:

  • Name and Contact Information: This includes your full name and a reliable way to contact you, such as your phone number or your email address.
  • Insurance Company and Policy Number: Share the name of your insurance company and your policy number, as this is key for the insurance claim process.
  • Vehicle Information: You’ll also want to share details about the vehicle, such as the make, model, colour, and registration number.
  • Driver's Licence Number: While this isn’t always mandatory, it's helpful to exchange driver's licence numbers for identification purposes, and to prove that you’re driving with a valid licence.

Best Practices When Sharing Insurance Information

When exchanging insurance details, it's important to be thorough yet cautious - even when emotions are running high. Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Stay Calm and Courteous: Despite the anger, frustration or confusion that you might be feeling, always remain polite; remaining calm helps ensure a smoother exchange of information.
  • Do Not Admit Fault: Stick to sharing factual information without admitting liability or assigning blame, as this can be used against you in any potential claims dispute.
  • Document the Scene: Take photos of the vehicles, licence plates, and any relevant road conditions or signage.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Exchanging Insurance Information

Mistakes can happen in the stress of the moment, so you’ll want to be wary of the following:

  • Not Collecting Enough Information: Ensure you get all the necessary details listed above.
  • Forgetting to Notify Your Insurer: Even if you think it's a minor accident, it's important to follow the insurance protocol after an accident.
  • Discussing Fault or Liability: Leave the determination of fault to the insurance companies and legal professionals - as we mentioned above, admitting fault (even just by apologising) can be held against you if the other party denies liability.

What to Do if the Other Party Refuses to Share Insurance Details

young motorist swapping insurance details with another mature motorist after a traffic collision.

If the other party is uncooperative, try to stay calm, and note down their vehicle registration number and any other details you can observe. You’ll also want to inform your insurance company about the situation as soon as possible.

Legal and Ethical Implications

Failing to exchange information can have serious legal consequences - after all, it's not just about following the law, but about respecting the rights and responsibilities of everyone involved in the accident. Ethically, it’s about ensuring that all parties have a fair chance to process their claims and recover from the incident, so a detailed exchange is non-negotiable.


Should I call the police after every accident?

It depends on the severity of the accident; for minor collisions where there's no significant damage and no one is injured, you usually won’t need to call the police. However, it's always a good idea to file a police report for more serious incidents or if there are any disagreements about the accident.

What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?

If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you should still exchange contact and vehicle information, as well as notify your insurance company immediately. You may be covered under your own policy if you have uninsured motorist coverage.

How soon should I notify my insurance company after an accident?

You should notify your insurance company as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours of the accident. This helps ensure that the claim process is initiated promptly.

What should I do if I'm not at fault in the accident?

Even if you believe you are not at fault, you should still exchange information with the other driver and notify your insurance company. If you are claiming for a non-fault accident, having the other driver's insurance details is crucial for processing your claim.

Can I just exchange contact details and skip the insurance information?

It’s important to exchange both contact and insurance details. Contact information alone is not sufficient for the insurance claims process.