Filing a car insurance claim can be a confusing and trying process. There are many steps involved that require strategic decision making in order receive the best plan possible. Whether you have never had to file a claim before or have been through this a few times, it is important to adequately plan for any possible future action.
What Is An Insurance Claim?
Filing an insurance claim for your vehicle ensures that you are compensated should you be involved in an automobile accident. The insurance company you choose will work as your personal representative to ensure that the damages ensued do not cause a personal liability. Should an accident occur, there are five vital steps that you need to follow in order to properly file a claim.
- Call the Police
After experiencing an auto accident, you are likely experiencing many emotions such as jitters, fear, and nervousness. Having a trained, third-party professional take down the details of the accident will help to cover any missing details. Police officers are trained to remain calm and prevent any possible danger. They will also file a police report covering the incident, which can benefit you later if you end up needing to consult with a car accident attorney.
- Contact Your Insurance Company
After you’ve contacted the police and ensured your safety, immediately contact your insurance company. Should your car be too damaged to drive, they can assist with contacting a towing company or even providing a possible rental car. Provide them with the facts of the accident without admitting fault. Their job is to provide you with the compensation you deserve along with other helpful resources. By admitting fault or providing supplementary details, this may hurt your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
- File Your Claim With the DMV
After the accident, write down the details surrounding it. Reporting your accident to the authorities and the DMV are required in some states. If you are unaware of your state’s stance, there are available online resources that provide the legalities surrounding a DMV report. You can also ask the police officer who files your report if this step is necessary in your state.
- Speak With Your Claims Specialists
The insurance company will provide you with a trained adjuster or specialist to help work on your claim. Their role is to work as your representative towards any third-party members involved. They will help to settle your claim, contact any auto rental places, and even connect you with auto repair companies. Their job is to essentially streamline the car insurance claim process and provide a single point of contact for you.
- Claim Your Payment
The adjuster assigned to your case should provide you with a cost estimate, deductible information, and possible payout. You have the ability to negotiate with your adjuster to obtain a higher claim. Once you all come to an agreement, you will receive more information regarding your vehicle and possible payout. It is vital to understand what your insurance company provides specifically with regards to repairs and possible medical coverage so you can be sure you take advantage of your entire policy when you need it.
Having car insurance is essential, and legally required, but having it is only half the battle. Knowing how to make the best use of your policy when you need to make a claim can ensure you get the most out of the investment you have put into your insurance.