People 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.
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.
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.
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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 car be totaled, 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.