How can I make my premium payments?
Country-Wide offers the following methods of payment:
- Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT): This a payment option that takes out your scheduled payments from your checking account.
- Debit card.
- Credit card (Visa and Master Card)
You can also use any of these methods to schedule all your payments in advance for the entire policy year by using our Automatic Payment Plan. With this option, your payments are made automatically from your checking account, or from your debit or credit card. Click here to sign up.
Advantages of our worry free Automatic Payment Plan:
- No need to remember to make your payment.
- No phone calls and no checks or postage necessary to pay your bill.
- No unnecessary cancellation notices or extra charges.
- Your payment is always made on time without you even having to think about it!
To pay by phone, call +1(212)514-7000 ext 7398
Send your check or money order to us in the mail. Use the convenient, blue self-addressed envelope we enclosed with your bill. Please don’t forget to always include your policy number on your check or money order.
What to do in the event of an accident?
Immediately call police & call your insurance company hotline, even if no one is injured.
Country-Wide’s Insurance Hotline: 1-800-79-NY-AUTO
Stay at the scene until the police arrive, and leave the scene only when the police officer says to do so. Don’t move the vehicle unless it is in the way of traffic.
Remain calm & don’t discuss details
DO NOT make any unnecessary statements or remarks that may hurt your own defense later on. DO NOT ADMIT FAULT. Refuse to sign any document or statement except what the police may officially require.
Identify anyone who saw the accident and get their names, address, phone numbers and email addresses.
Use your cell phone to photograph the scene of accident and the original position of the vehicles at the time of impact, the damage to the vehicles, especially if there is no or little visible damage, and any marks left by the vehicles on the roadway.
Ask for and write down the contact details, vehicle description including license plate number, and driver’s license number of the other driver involved, his insurance company and the insurance policy number. Note the seating location of each person in the vehicles. Note any video cameras in the area that may have recorded the event.
Write down details
The time, date, and location of the accident, the position of the colliding vehicles, weather, and traffic conditions, etc.
How do I use my collision coverage?
If you have purchased collision coverage, our goal is to process your claim quickly and get you back on the road.
The steps of a basic auto claim are as follows:
1. You must notify the Country-Wide Claims First Report Unit of the loss by phone or by fax. (212)514-7000
2. A claim number is assigned and an adjuster is immediately contacted to appraise the damage to your vehicle. The adjuster will generally call you within 24 hours of receiving the assignment to arrange for the inspection. If you need a suggestion for a reputable repair shop in your area, you can ask for our list of Preferred Repair Shops.
3. The appraiser and the repair shop review the damage and come to an “agreed price” for the repair work.
4. The written appraisal is sent by the appraiser to the examiner in our office handling the claim, and a Proof of Loss is sent to you for your review and signature.
5. Upon receipt of your duly executed proof of loss, a settlement check in the full amount of the damage (less your deductible) is sent to you. and you are responsible for paying the bill at the repair shop
How do I make a claim against the responsible driver?
This information is provided to assist our customers that have been in an accident and either do not have collision coverage for damage to their vehicle or otherwise choose to pursue the damage with the insurance company of the other vehicle.
How do I obtain a police report and how can it help?
Go to the police precinct where the accident occurred within one week of the accident or go to the DMV website at http://www.dmv.org for assistance in obtaining a copy of the report.
The police report will provide you with important information including the identity of the owners of all other vehicles involved and their insurance companies.
How do I identify the insurance company once I have the police report?
You can identify the insurance company by locating its 3 digit code found in the box called “Ins. Code.” This box is located about 1/3 of the way down the page on the same line as the Plate Number, State of Registration and Vehicle Year and Model. There will be a separate code for each vehicle involved in the accident. Once you have the code, use the following link to the New York State Department of Financial Services website http://www.dfs.ny.gov to identify the insurance company that corresponds with this code.
What must I do in addition to calling the other insurance company to report the accident?
If you are involved in an accident, you are also required to complete a form known as an MV-104 within 10 days if anyone is killed, injured or if at least $1,000 in property damage is sustained by anyone involved. If you do not have this form, you may obtain it using this link: dmv.ny.gov/forms/mv104.pdf
Where can I obtain additional information about what to do in the event of an accident?
For more information provided by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles on what to do if you have an accident, use this link: http://www.dmv.org .
How can I be a better driver?
Above all, drive safely
In an effort to educate our insured’s about motor vehicle safety, Country-Wide Insurance Company has developed this consumer guide to safe driving. It is designed to give you helpful tips on vehicle occupant safety and safe driving tips. Our goal is to help keep you and your vehicle occupants from sustaining injury in the event of a car accident.
Buckle up – wear your seat belt
Make sure your passengers do too. Seat belts are the most effective means of reducing serious injuries, and fatalities and doing so can save thousands of lives each year.
Properly adjust headrests
A correctly positioned headrest can reduce any chances of head or neck injury if you are involved in a collision.
Avoid solar glare
Each day the sun rises and sets, so there are two times in the day when you will encounter intense solar glare. Have sunglasses handy – Keep an extra pair within arms reach so that you can always be prepared.
Turn on your headlights when using your windshield-wipers
It will help increase your visibility and will also help other drivers see you. It is also a law enforced by the state of New York.
Know how to use your anti-lock brakes
In an emergency, stomp hard on the brake and keep your foot firmly on the pedal – do not pump the brakes. Anti-lock brakes keep your wheels from locking up and allow you to maintain control of your car and prevent uncontrollable skids.
Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Alcohol and narcotics are major causes of fatal car accidents. People are killed on the road every day, because they or others had impaired judgment or reflexes. If death does not scare you, how about being disabled? Impaired driving results in hundreds of thousands of injuries, in addition to lifetime disabilities from brain damage, paralysis, blindness, or amputated/ deformed limbs.
If you decide that drinking is necessary, appoint a designated driver before you and your colleagues start drinking. Do not wait until you arrive at your destination to decide who will drive home.
Do not tailgate
The minimum distance you should follow a vehicle in good weather, when traveling at 20 M.P.H. is three car lengths, nine car lengths when traveling at 60 M.P.H.
Make it a habit to signal early
In normal driving conditions, turn your signals on 5 to 8 seconds before you turn or change lanes, to give drivers behind your vehicle adequate time to react. Be sure to turn off your signal after you have completed the action.
Size up the whole situation
Do not only look directly in front of you. Also look 10 – 12 seconds down the road where potential trouble spots begin. This will allow you to stop carefully and gradually, which will not only help you maintain control of your vehicle, but will prolong the life span of your car’s brakes.
Even if the light is green, make sure the intersection is clear
When the light turns green, look to the left, right and left again and proceed if no other cars are approaching the intersection.
Air bag safety & preventing injuries
Children under 12 should never ride in the front seat of the car. Drivers should have all children in the back seat wearing a safety belt. Infants should be placed in a rear-facing car seat and secured in the back seat.
Check the pressure and treads of your tires at least once a month
Cooler outdoor temperatures can cause tires to become under inflated. Also worn tires and improper pressure can affect the steering and handling of your car, putting you at risk for an accident
Adjust your mirrors
Make sure that the mirrors are properly adjusted for you.
Stay focused at the wheel
Many accidents occur when drivers let their eyes or their mind wander. Distractions are a factor in many vehicle crashes. The most common of all distractions is caused by cellular phone usage.
When using your cellular phone while driving always remember your responsibility is driving, NOT talking. If you do use your cellular phone, please take the following precautions:
1. Use a Hands free kit. It is the LAW.
2. Pull off the road to complete a conversation.
3. Be familiar with the key pad and use the speed dial feature.
4. Avoid emotional conversations.
5. Do not talk on the phone in poor weather.
Merging on the highway
Select the proper gap in traffic, match your speed in the acceleration lane to the speed of moving traffic. Use the directional signal to indicate the car will be merging into traffic. Check the outside mirrors and blind spot before entering traffic. Never cross the solid, painted lines that divide the acceleration lane from the highway. Once merge is completed, turn off signal.
Check all directions to make sure the way is clear. Do not rely on the rearview mirror. Always turn and look directly behind while backing up. Yield the right of way to pedestrians, cyclists and approaching traffic.
Watch your speed
Speeding is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to traffic accidents. Many fatal accidents are due to a speeding motorist. Make sure you maintain a safe, constant speed that you can change instantly without harmful consequences.
Know how to maneuver around large trucks
Trucks cannot swerve or stop as quickly as automobiles. Large trucks have blind spots, or “No-Pass Zones” around the front, back and sides of the truck. These No-Pass Zones make it difficult for the driver of the truck to see vehicles that are very close to them, so do not linger alongside a truck. When passing a truck, avoid pulling back in front of it until you can see the entire truck in your inside rearview mirror.
Driving sensibly and steadily will avoid most skids. Anticipating turns or lane changes will help. If your vehicle begins to skid, remove your foot from the accelerator or brake and steer in the direction of the skid. When the vehicle steadies itself, turn the wheels straight and proceed.
By following these few life-saving safety tips, you can help reduce the number of accidents and injuries that occur on our roads. You will also help keep your insurance premium at the lowest rate possible.