After the information is exchanged and the accident is cleaned up, you must now file the auto claim with either your carrier or the other driver’s insurance. All the contact information for the carrier is on the id card as well other information you will need such as vehicle information and policy numbers.
Filing the Claim
Once you find yourself on the phone with the claims department, they will ask a series of questions regarding the accident.
A claims representative will ask the specific details of the accident. Things like, what direction were you traveling? Where did the accident occur? What time of day did the collision happen? These types of questions help the adjuster determine if any other factors may have contributed to the loss. You will want to know about the damage to the vehicles. They want to know where the damage is on your car and the other car. You do not have to use insurance jargon, just say “passenger door” or “back fender.”
Insider tip: If you can snap a few photos or even take a video at the accident scene, this will help the claims investigation.
For the damage
the insurance company may want you to go to one of their preferred shops. From there a claims appraisal is completed on the vehicle and the report is then sent to the adjuster.
They will ask, but if they do not be sure to tell them if there were any injuries. You should let them know if your or anyone else in your vehicle was injured. You may have medical payments coverage or med pay that will pay any bills you incur for injuries you sustain. They also need to know if anyone else was hurt. Tell them what you know, and if you are not sure if you are injured, tell them that as well.
Repairing Your Vehicle
Once the vehicle is in the shop, they will photograph damage, the cost of parts/labor and the time to fix. If it is determined that the cost to repair the damage is more than the value of the car, you may be offered a salvage price for the vehicle. This initial investigation process should only take a few days. Once the adjuster has the appraisal, they will get with you to go over it. If you agree with their estimates, you will proceed with the repair. If you have rental car coverage, then your policy will pay for it up to the limits specified. Click here to see some funny repair fails.
If you or your passengers suffered injuries during the accident, be sure to submit all hospital, doctor and related costs to the adjusters. Factors that determine reimbursement on medical claims are, the limits of each policy, the extent of the injuries and if the injuries claimed were sustained in the auto accident.
It is important to work with your insurance adjuster to the best of your ability. Don’t be afraid to call them if you have questions. The insurance carriers will do their best to work with you to get your claim resolved in a timely and fair way.