COVID has been tough, but it is also responsible for a few conveniences. Grocery delivery is now a thing we hadn’t even dreamed of in 2020. At least some of us are still working at home. Even car accidents are a little easier to deal with, as long as they’re minor ones.
A minor car accident is when nobody is injured (or killed) and fewer than five vehicles are involved in the collision. If that’s you, we’re sorry about that. But you can sort out your car accident report online. Just head over to the NATIS (National Traffic Information System) website and file the report from home, once you’ve had a chance to calm down. Just make sure you do it within 24 hours of your fender bender — or on the next working day, if it’s a weekend or public holiday.
Step by step
- The first few steps are fairly self-explanatory. First up are your personal details. If you don’t remember these, you’ve probably got larger problems than filling out a crash report. Head to a doctor and get checked for a concussion, then come back and do this later.
As with a physical police report, the exact location of your car accident is quite important. This must be shown in two ways — first, a bunch of details. Then, you can show exactly where it took place on a map. You’ve used Google Maps before, so you’ll be fine on this step.
- You will also need the licence, mobile, and ID numbers, email and physical addresses, and all the other personal details belonging to anyone else involved. Make sure you have their blood type, just to be sure. You’ll also have to describe and provide a sketch of exactly what went down. It’s quite a lot like filling out a physical report in a police station, in other words. If there’s more than one (but fewer than five) other person involved, you can click ‘Add’ to drop another batch of definitely-secure personal information into NATIS’ website. Make sure you fill in where your car was damaged before clicking away from this one.
Car accident report complete
That’s it. You’re done. All that’s left is to give it one more look to ensure everything is correct. It doesn’t help to check it after you hit ‘Confirm’. Which is what you should do next. A crash report number will be on its way to your chosen email address, which you can then forward to your insurance company. Probably.
We found that some insurance companies will only accept police report numbers, despite NATIS maintaining that it’s giving you an “…automatically generated Crash Report Number (CRN) for insurance claims”. Check with your insurance company before submitting your report online. If they’re not amenable, you’re headed off to the police station — even if there’s an easier way.