With the number of vehicles on American roads ever increasing, the chances of you having an accident and having to file an auto insurance claim are very high. But don’t be alarmed, personal injuries aren’t a problem in a majority of auto insurance claims.
The steps to making a claim are quite simple- you call the insurance company to make the claim, the adjuster visits you to assess the repairing costs, and then you may repair your vehicle with the money that the insurance company sends you via a cheque.
All insurance claims have a mandate rule- you need to provide proof of damage or proof of injury. Under this, 5 aspects are taken into account- what is told to the insurance company by you, what is told to the insurance company by the other party, the police report, the actual physical damage at the scene of the accident and the witnesses present.
In the event that you meet with an accident, check yourself, and then the other party for injuries and call 911 immediately to get necessary assistance. If both parties are fine, attempt to talk calmly to each other, and gather as much information as possible. This will help you while filing the claim.
Firstly, you need to assess whether you should actually file a claim or not- Most people do not know this, but every time you make a call to your insurance company with a question about you filing an insurance claim, it goes on your insurance record. It is necessary to keep your insurance records absolutely clean as far as possible, and one way to do that is to assess if you should indeed file a claim or otherwise. In simple terms, you must assess the situation yourself first, if you are capable of paying for the damages, without causing yourself financial strain. If the answer is positive, refrain from filing the claim.
If you choose to indeed go ahead and file the claim, you have to first fill out the form on what is to be done after an auto accident. Get all details of the accident on paper, and try your best to get witnesses who agree to talk to the insurance company, and who will corroborate your story when it comes to narrating the incident to the insurance company.
After this is done, file the claim as soon as possible. In the whole process the insurance company acts as your advocate, if it is your fault or not.
You may also want to prepare yourself, for you may receive a call from the other party’s insurance company. This usually happens if the two parties involved engage in a dispute. If you do actually get the call, get everything that is said, documented, and also the name of the customer service agent who spoke to you.
If your vehicle suffered from physical body damage, you can now get it fixed. Processing your claim might take time, but you will eventually get a call from the insurance company offering to send you an adjuster, who will evaluate the damages caused, or they may ask you to fix your car by sending it to a pre-approved mechanic. If your car is beyond repair, the adjuster will evaluate the actual or depreciated cash value of the car before the occurrence of the accident, which will allow for you to buy another similar used vehicle.