Car Insurance: Steps for Making a Claim

A car accident can be a harrowing and traumatic event. One will be shaken and often not thinking clearly. If you are involved in a car accident, you have to think about your condition as well as the events that took place because you will most likely have to file a auto insurance claim.

In order to prepare for the results of a car accident, the following steps should be followed in order to make a proper claim:

1. After an accident, your heart will be racing and you may be disorientated. You need to gather your thoughts and think about how to proceed. If you are hurt, and the car is not a danger such as on fire, retrieve your cell phone and call 911. If there is no emergency such as a serious injury, call the police. Check to see if anyone else is hurt. Ask for people who witnessed the accident to stay and talk to the police.

2. Swap contact information, including phone numbers, license plate numbers, and car insurance details with the other drivers involved in the accident. When the police arrive share all the details you remember about the accident so that they can write an official report that can be given to the insurance companies. Make sure you tell the police officers that you want a report. If the officers won’t do it because the accident took place on the property of an establishment like a store parking lot, then ask the store owner or a security guard to write something up. If you have a camera, take pictures of the accident scene that includes any vehicle damage.

3. Contact your insurance company, even if you are not at-fault. Also, compensation is based on the extent of fault so you need evidence to support your claim. Most insurance providers have a toll free claim number. Make sure you have your policy number available. If the other person is at-fault, you must make a claim. You are entitled to have the insurance company process your claim and resolve any disputes. Your insurance company will advise the other driver’s insurance provider that you are making a claim and seeking compensation. You will have to make a list of all items damaged. If the other driver does not have car insurance, you will have to negotiate directly or go to court. Some experts suggest that if the other party is at fault, you should file claims with both insurance providers.

4. Once you have submitted all of the paper work to the insurance companies, they will sort out the claim. You may have to speak to the other driver’s provider about your recollection of the accident. Your insurance provider will tell you what statement is required. Before you give your statement, write down what you remember about the accident.

5. A claims adjuster will inspect your damaged car in order to assess the costs of the loss. They will also assess if the damage can be repaired or if you require financial compensation. If you are financially compensated, the insurance company will write you a check minus the deductible. A car accident can be a very emotional time in one’s life. It is important to remember that you need to keep yourself together so that you can make the right decisions regarding your physical well-being as well as filing a car insurance claim.

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