First and foremost thing, if you are about to claim car insurance, then you must have had an accident so firstly you have to contact the police. The police officer will file the report and will capture all the details; otherwise, you have that by yourself, which will be difficult in that situation because you have gone through an accident. The details recorded by the police officer will help fill the claim for the insurance. And the police record will also serve as evidence for the incident.
How To File A Report
Depending on the area or state where you live, you have to file a report of the accident in the police station or Department of the motor (DMV). Follow their guidelines and understand your responsibilities. Ask for help from your insurance agent in case you have trouble understanding something or have any queries.
Gather Details About Your Car And Accident
You need to gather all the details about the damaged parts and the way the accident broke out. The person involved with whom you caught up the accident. These details will help file the insurance claim application, for more information, contact your insurance agent.
How To Contact Car Insurance Company
Now you have to call your insurance officer, inform it about the car accident and ask to file the claim providing the necessary details. You need to keep in mind the time limit specified by the company. You need to apply within the time limit. The information you need to provide there is:
- Your car details, Number, model, etc.
- The location where the accident took place and time
- Description of the accident in brief
Name and your basic information including insurance detail
Information about the people involved in accidents like names, contact details, and the witnesses, it would be better if there is a police report of the accident.
The insurance officer will assign you an insurance adjuster or claim adjuster.
Coordinate With Car Insurance Adjuster
He will be collecting details about the accident, and he will study your policy and report, will listen to your statement. You need to provide him all the details of the people involved in the accident, their names and communication details, also the details of the witnesses, who saw the accident and their contact details because the insurance adjuster needs to hear and record the statement made by each person involved to verify the damage and faulty person. The claim adjuster also needs to contact the police officer, who made the report of the accident. The claim on the policy depends on the various conditions specified by the insurance company, such as
- It is another driver’s fault
- It’s your fault
- Fault is shared
- The plan you chose
- Whether you have due premium
The claim officer will evaluate the claim, depending on the damage, the coverage (percentage of the total cost, the insurance company will pay) which you choose during starting your insurance, cause of the accident. These parameters are explained below.
Depending on the cause of the accident, whether it is due theft situation, natural calamity or other condition involving your single vehicle, there are two types of coverage:
- Comprehensive coverage includes coverage after the theft, natural disaster or damage caused by an animal hit or a falling object
- Collision coverage consists of the coverage when the driver hits a standing car or wall, such cases.
You need to opt for these coverages when you buy the policy. You must check out all the options and their details before purchasing the insurance so that when you are going to file the claim, you do not get shocked. In case of theft, you information about any valuable item that was left behind in the car.
If your car was rental i.e., on a lease, then you need to inform your lease or finance company too. Because in case, if the car is heavily damaged, then they must be involved to decide whether the car would be repaired or replaced.
The Adjuster Will Evaluate The Claim Value
Based on the property damaged, the adjuster will calculate the total claim value based upon the factors discussed above. Finally, he will pass the final payment. You’ll need to sign a release, accepting the payment as payment in full.
What If The Other Driver Sued You In The Court?
In case the other driver filed a case against you, then your insurance company will represent you in court. In such cases, you must prepare your document and evidence well. If the other driver is faulty, you need to fight against the insurance company of that driver and file the claim on the other driver’s policy. In these activities, your insurance officer will help you, but it’s you who have to file the claim.
Ways To Get Your Car Repairs Using Insurance Claim
Never get any part repaired before the insurance adjuster; he will be making reports on the actual conditions, not on your statements. Some parts need to be fixed as soon as possible like a bumper, broken sunroof, in this situation, let the adjuster know and verify. The insurer will give you specific instructions. There are few things to keep in mind,
- Take pictures of the damaged parts and document them
- Let the workers of the repair shop know the nature of work to be done to prevent future accidents
- Promptly keep the receipts and bills
- You need to provide the documents and receipts to the insurers
- You can choose the repair shop
- Don’t accept the third party parts as they cost cheaper
If you are not satisfied with the company’s decision, you can appeal. You can contact the insurer, and you can reach the State Regulator. You have your right to represent your attorney in dispute with the insurer.
Above all these things, if you get injured in the accidents, first get medical aid. A police officer will help you in the situation.