Five Steps to Filing a Claim
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
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
- 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.