FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW WRECKCHECK MOBILE APP TAKES THE GUESSWORK OUT
Free mobile app from NAIC helps consumers protect themselves, their
property and their identities during one of life’s most high pressure
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 14, 2012) — Automobile accidents
happen every minute of the day. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
more than 5 million wrecks occur every year. However, according to a July
2012 survey from the National Association of
Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), many Americans do not know what steps
to take or basic information to share — or not share — after an accident.
They may even put their identities and safety at risk by sharing too much
personal information. The new WreckCheck mobile application from
the NAIC can help eliminate that risk.
The recent NAIC 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 misperceptions and associated risks were:
- Nearly 40 percent of
respondents felt they should share their driver’s licenses; one in six
would allow the other driver to photograph their licenses as a convenient
way to exchange information. The risk, however, is that many retailers
accept driver’s license information as a common way to verify identity
over the phone.
- Twenty-five percent
of consumers would share their home addresses. Unfortunately, sharing
this information gives identity thieves the physical location of one’s
mail or garbage, which often is where they look for personal or
financial information about their victims. It also means they know
where their victim lives, putting his or her personal safety in
- Almost 30 percent of
drivers think they are required to share their personal phone numbers.
In fact, sharing personal phone numbers is not necessary.
- Close to 20 percent
of people believe the only reason to call the police after an accident
is if someone is injured. However, filing a police report can help
facilitate the insurance claims process.
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.
“The last thing you’re probably thinking about following a car accident
is protecting your privacy,” says NAIC President and Florida Insurance
Commissioner Kevin M. McCarty. “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 the NAIC
created WreckCheck. The app will take the guesswork out of what
information to get following a car accident.”
Eliminate the Guesswork
The new WreckCheck mobile application from the NAIC outlines what
to do immediately following an auto 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.
Drivers can visit InsureUOnline.org
for additional information about what to do following an auto accident.
Also available on the site is a downloadable accident checklist, a video
demo, an audio news
release, Interview: NAIC President and Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin M. McCarty Discusses WreckCheck Mobile App and other materials to help consumers protect themselves after
About the NAIC
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S.
standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed
by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of
Columbia and five U.S. territories. Through the NAIC, state insurance
regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and
coordinate their regulatory oversight. NAIC staff supports these efforts
and represents the collective views of state regulators domestically and
internationally. NAIC members, together with the central resources of the
NAIC, form the national system of state-based insurance regulation in the
U.S. For more information, visit www.naic.org.
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