4 Steps to Filing a Car Insurance Claim After an Accident

liability car insurance is required in 49 out of 50 states, and with full reason. The economic loss of car accidents in the U.S. is at least $ 242 billion per year, and the emotional and social losses are much higher. If you are at blame in a car accident, you ‘re responsible for the costs to repair or replace damaged property and cover the aesculapian expenses of the early driver and passengers. Without car indemnity, you could be liable for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in bodily injury and property damage. It is n’t good the other driver, though. Your vehicle may besides be damaged and you may need medical attention. There are early considerations as well — will you need extra insurance to pay off your car loanword ? Will you need a rental car while yours is out of commission ? How do you file a car policy title after an accident ? There are a few all-important steps you can take in the minutes, days and weeks after your accident that can help your claims action go more smoothly .

Step 1: Gather Information at the Scene of the Accident

A person uses their cell phone after a car accident to document the damage Filing an indemnity claim is an easier process if you take the time to gather information at the accident scenery. Exchange contact and indemnity information with the other driver and call the police, so you have access to a police report. If there are good injuries involved, you may not have the opportunity to gather all the information you need, but the police can help fill in the gaps.

Take Pictures of the Damage

Use your phone to snap photos of the damage to your vehicle and the early vehicle, along with anything else that may help your claim. Be indisputable to take pictures of the accident from every angle. While not required, these pictures could be helpful to your claims adjuster .

Gather Names Contact Information for Witnesses

Record the names and reach information of anyone who witnessed the accident sol your claims adjuster can speak with them if necessary. not everyone who sees an accident happen stops to help, and not every accident has immediate witnesses, but you never know when a spectator may be needed, so it ‘s best to get that data. Take note of traffic cameras or shop security cameras in the area. If you are in a residential region, you might find person with a video recording surveillance camera that recorded the accident. many people now have doorbells that take videos, for exemplar .

Step 2: Contact Your Insurance Company

A man speaks on the phone with his insurance company while he looks at his computer once you are safely at home, check your insurance coverage. If you do n’t have a copy of it in your files, you can probably get all the details you need on your insurance company ‘s web site. You will need your policy issue so you can verify your coverage and deductibles. With your policy in hand or accessible on-line, you can start filing your call .

How to File a Car Insurance Claim Online

If you have a dedicated policy agent, you can contact them directly, and they will help you file a claim with your policy party. If you bought a policy directly from an indemnity company, contact their claims department. They will have a representative who can walk you through the work of filing a claim. A claims adjuster will reach out to you once your claim has been set up in the system. One of the benefits of signing up immediately with an insurance company is that many of them have on-line title systems that will allow you to file a call at any time of the day or night through their automated system. Whether your charge with an agent or on-line, you ‘ll need to have the pursue information on hand :

  1. Your policy number.
  2. The name, license plate numbers and insurance information for the other driver.
  3. Location of the accident.
  4. Time of the accident.
  5. Whether or not the police were called.
  6. Any injuries to yourselves or others.
  7. If your car was towed, where it was towed.
  8. Information from the police, if available, regarding case numbers, names of officers, etc.

How Long Do I Have to File an Insurance Claim?

File your claim vitamin a soon as possible. It ‘s necessity to do this because every express has different laws regarding how long you have to file a call. If you do n’t submit the claim and necessary documents promptly, you may not be eligible to receive any compensation for damages. Deadlines for filing a call may vary depending on your department of state, your insurance company and the type of claim you ‘re filing, so it ‘s better not to wait .

How to File a Third-Party Car Insurance Claim

While car accidents do n’t happen frequently, they are n’t precisely uncommon, either. approximately 6 million people on average are involved in car accidents each class in the U.S. If you ‘re involved in an accident, and person else is at blame, you ‘d file a third-party claim. The easiest and best way to file a third-party claim is to contact your own policy company careless of who is at defect. Your claims adjuster will work with the other driver ‘s indemnity to file a third-party claim. You can file a claim through the other person ‘s policy immediately by calling the number on the back of their policy card or using their indemnity company ‘s on-line claim form .

Step 3: Cooperate With Your Claims Adjuster

A woman looks at a message on her phone from her claims adjuster A claims adjuster is the person your indemnity company has assigned to handle your accident. The adjuster handles discussions with haunt shops, other policy companies, witnesses and any other parties involved. They will investigate your accident, review the estimates to get your vehicle repaired and get your title settled.

You will about always talk to your adjuster over the earphone, though they may have an in-person converge with you vitamin a well. While your adjuster wants you to be satisfied with the direction your claim is handled, it ‘s crucial to remember that their first responsibility is to the policy company. They want to keep the expenses from the accident deoxyadenosine monophosphate low as possible. It ‘s essential to get any information your claims adjuster asks for good away. If your adjuster or agent needs information or documentation to process your title, the debauched you can get those items to them, the quicker you ‘ll get your claim handled .

Step 4: Understand Your Claim

A couple looks at their computer as they check on their car insurance coverage There are multiple types of claims that are filed in an accident. A representative from your policy company can explain what kind of claim you ‘re filing, but the types of coverage you selected when you signed up for your policy will impact what kind of claims you can file. For exercise, person who elected GAP coverage could file a claim to cover the difference between the respect of their car and the total left on their car loanword in the event of a sum loss .

Comprehensive and Collision Claims

Comprehensive and collision coverage pays for the damages to your vehicle if you are at fault in the accident. Collision covers your car ‘s damage in a collision with another car, while comprehensive covers pretty much everything else, including larceny, weather damage and vandalism. Your insurance company will pay for expenses beyond your car insurance deductible up to your insurance limits. Comprehensive and collision coverage is optional if you do n’t make car payments, so you should check your policy to see if you ‘re covered .

Liability Claim

Liability coverage pays for medical costs and property damage to the other party or parties involved in an accident if you are at blame. Some drivers have liability-only coverage, which pays entirely for damages to other people and their vehicles in an at-fault accident. checkup expenses can escalate quickly, so you will want to make certain you have high adequate liability coverage levels in place. Your claims adjuster will work with the doctors, hospitals, animate shops and anyone else involved in providing services to the other driver to file claims directly through the policy company. however, be prepared to receive a bill for any checkup or property damage expenses that go beyond your indebtedness limits if you are at mistake in an accident. The level of liability coverage you choose impacts your average cable car policy rates, so you will want to get multiple quotes when selecting a policy to get the lowest possible rates .

Uninsured Motorist Claim

A police officer speaks with two drivers after a car accident In the event you ‘re in an accident with an uninsured driver, you ‘re not alone. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 1 in 8 drivers are uninsured. How your damages are covered may end up having to do with what submit you live in. In a no-fault state, your insurance company will cover your damages, even if you ‘re at fault and only have indebtedness policy. If you ‘re not in a no-fault submit, you ‘ll need to have uninsured motorist coverage. Twenty states require it, so you credibly do have it, but you should make surely you have it. You never know who is driving uninsured until they come crashing into your life sentence .

Diminished Value Claim

If your car is damaged in an accident, it can reduce your vehicle ‘s value, even if it ‘s repaired. The fact that your cable car now has a damage history can reduce the resale value, making you less probably to recoup your car ‘s full value if you sell it in the future. Depending on the state of matter you live in and the type of policy you have, you may potentially be able to file a atrophied rate claim. In this shell, you would receive payment in the sum the value is diminished by .

Total Loss Claim

A total personnel casualty is when the cost of repairing your fomite exceeds its value. If you have a new or high-value car, it could take quite a act of wrong to cause a total loss, whereas person driving a 10-year-old sedan might have a full loss with a child fender curve. If you have a sum loss, you can expect the insurance company to keep your wrecked vehicle and write you a determine for your car ‘s value.

Additional Claims

There are other coverages you can purchase that can help cover your costs in the event of an accident. GAP coverage, roadside aid and lease car coverage are just a few of the extra coverages available. Speak with your indemnity agentive role or spokesperson to discuss the best cable car insurance coverage for you and how to file a claim for these benefits. Despite the fiscal benefits and legal requirements associated with car insurance, 13 % of drivers in 2015 hush chose not to carry insurance. even though it might save you a few pennies to go without indemnity or select minimal coverage levels, you ‘ll find that a set of the stress that goes along with a cable car accident can be alleviated if you ‘ve done your homework and purchased the right levels of coverage .

About the Author

Rachael Brennan is a writer for MoneyGeek and a professional freelance writer. She has been published on a total of websites, including Adweek, Glamour and Cracked. She has besides worked in the insurance industry for more than a decade, earning her P & C license in all 50 states and her Life, Health and AD & D license in New York and the surrounding states. You can follow her on Twitter @ rachaelbwriter .


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