How To File a Car Insurance Claim
There’s nothing more unsettling than finding yourself behind the wheel of your vehicle and involved in a car accident. After the initial shock of having crashed, so much can run through your mind.
However, the second you get involved in a wreck is the beginning of the claims process. Get yourself to safety and evaluate yourself for any bodily injury. Once the dust settles, it’s time to get to work.
When filing a car insurance claim, getting all of the information that you can will help expedite the process. Be sure to expand auto insurance information with all parties involved in the crash, as well as personal contact information. Auto insurance providers also recommended getting any info from eyewitnesses who may have seen the accident take place. If you can get photos from the scene of the accident, that is also beneficial for an insurance company to figure out the at-fault driver.
Police responding to the scene will also file an accident report, and give motorists involved access to the incident report to forward along to their car insurance company. In addition to this report, any receipts for repairs on physical damage caused by a collision should be held onto as well to determine how much auto insurance coverage will have to pay out to each party.
Contact Your Car Insurance Company
Filing a claim has been made easier than ever before by car insurance providers. The first step is usually to contact the claims number commonly available on the back of your insurance card. However, some insurance companies now allow you to file online or through an app on your smartphone.
When reporting an accident, your insurance company will try to determine who is at fault. That’s why it is important to accrue as much information as possible as we mentioned before. If claims adjusters determine the other driver is at fault, their liability coverage will take care of physical damage to your vehicle and your medical bills up to the limit on your insurance policy. However, if you are the one at fault, your collision coverage can help pay for repairs to your car. If you have medical payment coverage, your medical bills may be covered up to your limit.
Depending on the severity of the accident, you may decide against filing a claim. This is a way some people avoid their car insurance premium going up, feeling that it’s less of a financial hit to pay out of pocket than wait for the auto insurance coverage claims process to come full circle. This is sensible in few circumstances, such as if your vehicle was solely in the crash and you don’t have collision coverage, or if the cost of the damages in a wreck are less than that of your insurance policy’s deductible.
Getting Back on the Road
A claims adjuster will provide an estate for repair costs and direct you to mechanics for the fix. If you have a preferred mechanic, present that to your insurance company who may be willing to accommodate this request and pay the repair shop directly. However, an adjuster may determine that the car is a total loss if the damage is beyond the point where it makes no financial sense to fix it and put money towards a new vehicle.
An auto insurance company will compensate you or a finance company to accommodate the actual cash value of your vehicle — the market value of your car at the time of the crash. With some insurance policies, a company may cover a rental car while your claim is processed. Just be sure to stay in contact with your insurance company throughout the process, and when you are back on the road to travel, make sure all of your paperwork is settled, so you can enjoy being behind the wheel once again.