Accidents Do Happen: Now What?
By Bob Mackey, Vice President, Falcon Insurance Agency, Inc.
No one ever plans to have an accident. So what can you do to prepare for one? Here are four simple things to remember:
- Take care of immediate medical needs.
- Gather all the details and information you can.
- Contact your aircraft insurance company.
- Secure your aircraft.
We will explore these four points in greater detail, however, it is strongly suggested that you pull out your aircraft insurance policy and read the section that explains what to do in the event of an accident.
When an accident happens, first and foremost, always take care of the immediate medical needs of those who are hurt. Your number one obligation is to notify the appropriate authorities and assist them in handling the emergency at hand. Contact Fire/Rescue and the appropriate Law Enforcement personnel as soon as possible.
Second, be sure to gather as many details as possible. Obtain the names and contact information of anyone who is injured, any passengers, anyone whose property was damaged, and anyone who might have witnessed the accident.
Once you have this information, contact your insurance company. When you received your aircraft insurance policy, the materials should also have included contact information for the company's claims representatives. A copy of this information should be kept in your pilot bag and someplace inside your aircraft. Insurance company telephone numbers are normally monitored 24/7. If you cannot locate the contact information when you receive your aircraft insurance policy, or if you just purchased your aircraft insurance and your policy has not yet arrived, make sure to get this information from your insurance agent.
Lastly, do your best to secure your aircraft from any further damage or any further damage to anyone or their property. The insurance company claims representative will help you sort out any additional steps that should be taken to protect your aircraft from any further damage. Never abandon your aircraft unless you are injured and unable to take care of it.
No one ever thinks they are going to have an accident, however, if you ever do, following these four simple steps will better prepare you to handle the situation.
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