When an accident occurs, a claim should be filed with the insurance company to either compensate you for damages you received or represent you if you are liable for damages. Making a claim doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are 5 steps to filing an auto insurance claim.
Step 1: Contact the Police
If you’re involved in an accident, you’ll likely be shaken up and may not be in the best position to assess the entire situation. It’s a good idea to contact the police and have them take down the details of the accident in a police report so the insurance company knows exactly what happened.
Step 2: Gather the Necessary Information About Your Accident
It’s important to gather the necessary information at the scene of the accident rather than waiting until after and trying to track down the other driver and get their information. Some things you should collect are:
Name, address and phone number of the other driver
Insurance company name and policy number
Vehicle description and photos for your own record
Date and time of the accident
Address of the accident
The direction both cars were traveling
What happened to cause the accident
The names and contact information of any witnesses
Step 3: Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company as soon as you can so they can walk you through the next steps and tell you what information they need from you. If your car is not drivable, they will help arrange for towing and rental coverage, if applicable.
Step 4: Speak to Your Claims Adjuster
After a claim is reported to the insurance company, an adjuster will be assigned to your claim. The adjuster will contact you to discuss the specifics of your accident and take a statement from you. They will then arrange for an estimate to be completed and start the process for you to get your car repaired. If you have any questions throughout the claims process, do not be afraid to reach out to your adjuster to discuss them.
Step 5: Get Your Car Repaired
Once your adjuster has completed their investigation, you will receive an estimate of the cost to repair your vehicle and how the claim will play out. The estimate should outline the work to be done to your vehicle and specify whether the company will use aftermarket or generic parts for the repair. After you have reached an agreement with your adjuster, the selected body shop will be able to complete repairs and you’ll be back on the road.
Your insurance company is here to protect you in the event of an accident. Even if you are not at fault, you should contact your insurance company and let them advocate on your behalf.