Taking The Mystery Out Of A Car Insurance Claim In 5 Steps

by Hank Coleman

Taking the mystery out of a car insurance claimPeople tend to take their car insurance for granted until it comes time to file a car insurance claim. At this point, drivers need the mystery behind the claims process to be unveiled quickly.

People often feel nervous and uncomfortable making claims because they do not know exactly what the whole thing entails. Some parts of the process can vary depending on the state, the nature of your accident, and the company.

Taking The Mystery Out Of A Car Insurance Claim

However, by familiarizing yourself with the typical experience of the average insured motorist, you can ensure that the process goes smoothly and that you will get the most out of the policy for which you have been paying. Whether you have to file a car insurance claim while holding onto your SR-22 insurance or your standard premium policy, the following 5 steps will demystify the claim process for you.

Get All the Relevant Information

It is extremely likely that you will be filing a car insurance claim because you have been involved in an accident with another vehicle. In order to have the data necessary to file a claim, you must be sure that you collect the license plate number of all cars involved in addition to the other driver’s insurance information. It is also wise to get phone numbers from the other drivers in case additional information is needed.

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Make the Situation Cut and Dry

It is important to gather contact information for any witnesses and collect the information necessary to have access to any police reports that may be made concerning the accident. It is likely that the insurance company will ask for such information in order to verify which driver was actually at fault before they will make any payouts on any subsequent claims that are being filed. The party at fault can have a major bearing on the dollar amount that your insurance adjuster is willing to sign off in regard to your car insurance claim.

Immediate Contact

It is important to contact your provider to make the car insurance claim as soon as possible. Any delay can start to raise eyebrows as to the legitimacy of the car insurance claim that you are making. Most providers have a 24-hour claims service department.

If possible, use a cell phone to notify the company directly from the scene of the accident. Once you are connected with a representative, they will walk you through the part of the process that can be handled over the phone.

Contact From Other Providers

Depending on who is at fault in the accident, you are likely to receive a call from the other driver’s insurance company as well in which they will ask you for your version of the events that took place at the scene of the accident. It is important to check with your own insurance provider before this call takes place in order to find out what you need to say in order to best protect yourself and your property when it comes to any potential legal action.

Adjusters Take Control

After your car insurance claim has been made, an adjuster will come out to visually survey the extent of the damage in person. Based on their findings, they will come up with an estimated cost for repairs that are needed in order to fully restore your vehicle.

Should the insurance company total the car, then they will come up with an estimate for replacing the vehicle entirely. Once their findings have been concluded, the insurance company will cut you a check for the amount of the repair with the collision deductible for your policy subtracted from the sum.

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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and a graduate certificate in personal financial planning. Email him directly at Hank[at]MoneyQandA.com.


Hank Coleman has written 592 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Levi Blackman

Learning from my own mistakes I always call the police (so there is an official report), never admit guilt (even if it was your fault), and let the insurance company fight your legal battles for you. You pay them to do this, and they would rather provide you with subjugation.

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Kostas @ Finance Blog Zone

I learned the hard way how important it is to have car insurance and get the other person’s information when involved in accidents. It’s also crucial, as Levi said, to call the police, without the report there is nothing to help the insurance companies do battle for you.

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