If you’re involved in a car accident, filing an insurance claim is one of the first things you should do. Insurance claims are filed in order to request financial compensation for injuries or damages sustained during an accident. The process for filing a claim can vary somewhat between insurance companies, but the following steps are pretty standard.
Reach Out to Your Insurance Company
After the accident, you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible to file a car accident claim. You’ll need to be prepared to provide them with the make and model of the car involved in the accident, your insurance policy number, who was driving, a basic description of what happened, when the accident occurred, and the location it occurred.
If another vehicle was involved in the accident, you will also need to obtain their name and insurance information. Once you file your claim, be sure to record the claim number they provide you as well as the name and contact information of the person you spoke with.
File a Police Report If Necessary
Depending on the type of accident, your insurance company may request a police report. If you didn’t file a report at the scene of the accident, you can file one after the fact at your local police station.
To file a police report, you will need to provide as much information about the incident as possible, such as details about those involved in the incident, a description of the incident, and any other relevant information. After filing a police report, it is important to take note of the case number you are given in order to follow up later. It is also wise to keep copies of your police report for your own records.
Receive More Information From an Insurance Adjuster
After filing a claim, your insurance company will assign you an insurance adjuster. They will ask you for additional information about the accident. Be sure to relay the facts along with any photos you took at the scene. Your conversation with your adjuster will be recorded and will be used if there’s a need to determine who was at fault.
If you have a personal injury claim to file, you may wish to consult with a lawyer before discussing the accident with an adjuster. After gathering more information, the adjuster will either inspect the damage themselves or ask you to take your car to a certified repair location for an inspection to be completed.
During the overview process, the adjuster will review the claim details, assess the damages incurred, and determine how much the insurer should pay out for the claim. If needed, adjusters will negotiate settlements with claimants to reach an agreeable amount that meets the needs of both parties. They also recommend coverage plans for policyholders, and help them understand their policies and what they are entitled to.
Adjusters must stay abreast of changing regulations, laws, and industry standards in order to adequately assess claims. Additionally, they need strong communication skills in order to effectively interact with clients and claimants. Insurance adjusters play an important role in the insurance process by resolving disputes between insurers and policyholders.
Receive a Repair Estimate
Either the adjuster or the repair shop will prepare a statement of the estimated cost to repair the damage to your vehicle. Keep in mind that you do not necessarily need to have your car repaired at the shop that provides the initial estimate.
When getting an estimate for car repair, it is important to ask for a detailed breakdown of the costs involved. This will give you an idea of how much each service or part will cost and help you compare prices between different providers. Make sure to get a clear explanation of what services are included, as well as the estimated time frame for completion. Be sure to ask questions if you don’t understand any part of the repair estimate.
Finally, it is important to shop around for different quotes to get the best price for your car repair needs. Doing so can help you save money and find a reliable service provider.
Once your insurance company receives a report of the estimated cost for repairs, they will either pay the repair shop or issue you reimbursement minus whatever your deductible is.
Filing an insurance claim is never a fun process, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow these easy steps the next time you’re involved in an accident to make the process less confusing, more streamlined, and taken care of sooner.
This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write about business, finance, and family issues. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. You can find Dixie on Facebook.