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5 Steps to What You Need to Know About Auto Insurance Claims

Authored by Doug Jensen, EVP, Chief Insurance Operations Officer 

Auto insurance is an essential protection that could help you cover the costs of accidents and vehicle damage. When something goes wrong on the road, filing an auto insurance claim is a crucial step in getting the help you need. In this blog, we will walk you through the basics of auto claims, making it easy for you to understand the process of filing a claim and ensure a smooth experience.  

Understanding Auto Insurance Claims 

An auto claim is a request you make to your insurance company, through an insurance adjuster, to cover the expenses incurred due to an accident, theft or other type of damage to your own or another person’s vehicle. It’s important to note that auto claims are subject to the terms and conditions outlined in your policy. Depending on the severity of the damage and your policy coverage, you may only be eligible for certain types of coverage or reimbursements.  

Step 1: Reporting the Incident 

The first step in the claims process is to report the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Many  insurance companies have multiple options for reporting a claim, like dedicated phone lines or online platforms to report the accident or claim. Make sure you have all the necessary details handy, such as the date, time and location of the incident, and information about the other parties involved, if applicable.  

Step 2: Providing Documentation 

After reporting the incident, your insurance company will request certain documents to file your claim. These may include a copy of the police report (if applicable), photographs of the damage, estimates for car repairs and any other relevant documentation. It’s important to provide these documents promptly to avoid delays in processing your claim.  

Step 3: Determining Fault 

In some cases, your insurance company may need to determine who is at fault for the accident. They will assess the evidence provided and consider local traffic laws and regulations. Fault can be assigned to one or more parties (if applicable) involved in the accident, and it may affect your insurance rates. Remember, the determination of fault can vary depending on the circumstances and the state you live in.  

Step 4: Vehicle Inspection 

If you have physical damage coverage for your vehicle, your insurance company may arrange for a vehicle inspection to assess the extent of the damage. The inspection will be completed either through a photo self-inspection process, or by a qualified professional. Damage will then be evaluated and the estimated cost to repair determined. Be sure to cooperate with the inspection process and provide access to your vehicle as requested by your insurance company. 

Step 5: Claims Settlement 

Once the necessary information has been reviewed by your insurance provider, they will determine the settlement amount for your claim. The settlement amount may cover repair costs, rental cars, medical expenses, and other damages as specified in your policy. It’s important to review the settlement offer carefully and ask questions if anything is unclear.  

Let Acceptance Insurance Help! 

Filing an auto insurance claim doesn’t have to be complicated. By understanding the basic steps involved, you can navigate the process with confidence. Remember to report the incident promptly, provide the requested documentation and cooperate with your insurance company throughout the claims process. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our local insurance agents for guidance. With the right knowledge and coverage, you can ensure that you’re prepared when the unexpected happens on the road. Stay safe! 

Commonly Asked Questions About Auto Insurance Claims 

Who is Responsible for Making an Auto Insurance Claim? 

Auto insurance claims are typically initiated by the policyholder, though any involved parties may also be responsible for submitting a claim to their respective insurer. The responsibility of making the claim may vary depending on the type of policy and the circumstances surrounding the accident. In most cases, it is up to the policyholder to contact their insurer and provide details about the accident. 

Are There Any Limitations on Filing a Car Insurance Claim? 

Filing a car insurance claim is an important process that should be done correctly in order to receive the coverage you need and deserve. However, there are certain limitations that may affect the eligibility of your claim. 

The primary limitation when filing an auto insurance claim is the type and amount of coverage you have. Depending on the level of coverage you purchased, certain types of damages may not be covered. For example, if you have the bare minimum liability insurance coverage required by law in most states, then your policy will not include comprehensive or collision coverage for your vehicle’s damage. Additionally, some policies may include a deductible amount that must be paid out of pocket before your insurance company will start covering costs. 

If you’re unsure of the coverage you have, it’s important to contact your agent or insurer. Other limitations may also apply depending on the  type of damage sustained. Be sure to carefully review all the information provided by your insurer so you can make an informed decision to file a claim.  


Material in these articles is for general information or entertainment purposes only. Acceptance Insurance does not endorse and is not affiliated with any of the companies or apps listed in this article. Acceptance Insurance is not responsible or liable for the availability of links to websites or resources, or for any content, advertising, products, services, or other materials on or available through these websites or resources. Any references to third party rates or products are subject to change without notice. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Price may vary based on how you buy. Information and coverage descriptions are general in nature. Actual coverage depends on the policy. Nothing in this article alters the terms or conditions of any First Acceptance Insurance Company, Inc. policies. Some auto policies are underwritten by third-party insurers that are not affiliated with Acceptance and are solely responsible for claims. Supplementary coverage options or products may be added to an insurance policy for an additional cost where applicable. See your agent for more information. Not all products, discounts, deductibles or payment plans are available in all states or distribution channels. All products described herein are subject to terms and conditions. CA License #0K20173. 

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