Car insurance exists for some good reason. It primarily provides financial protection if you get into a vehicle accident. The same applies if your car gets damaged, stolen, or even vandalized. Should there be any untoward car incident, you can file a claim and get compensated for all the expenses involved.
The questions, however, are: how do you go about filing a claim with your insurance carrier? How do you submit a claim if there’s another party at fault? For the novices, the claim-filing process appears to be a daunting task. It’s even more challenging to seek compensation from the responsible party’s insurance company.
In this article, we’ll share with you what it takes to file an auto insurance claim.
1. Assess the need to file a claim
Road accidents can happen to anyone at any time and anywhere. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) claims that road accidents result in about 1.3 million deaths each year. Also, consider the disabilities and non-fatal injuries caused by vehicle collisions every year.
If ever you get yourself involved in a car accident, check to see if you can file a claim. Take note of the following:
- Personal injury: You or the other driver has got injured due to a vehicle accident. Whether you’re at fault or the other party is responsible, you can file a claim.
- Vehicle damage: Your vehicle or that of the other party has become damaged. As a result, you need to get the car repaired.
- Property damage: Your vehicle has led to wreckage on a property, whether residential or commercial.
2. Contact the insurance company
It’s best to get in touch with your insurance company right after the accident, whether or not you’re at fault. Consider the following:
- Filing with your insurance: If no one’s at fault, you must contact your insurance carrier to inform about the accident. While at it, inquire about your policy and check your specific coverage. Plus, ask about the process of filing a claim, including the requirements you need to submit.
- Filing with another party’s insurance: If you aren’t at fault, you have the right to file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance. However, this process can be complicated, as you must establish that another person caused the accident.
3. File the actual insurance claim
Filing the actual insurance claim entails a particular process. Make sure you’re well-acquainted with the claim-filing steps. That way, you can get everything taken care of without any delay.
The claim-filing process begins with contacting the insurance. When you get in touch with your insurance, you report the incident. The representative will gather the accident details so that they can open a case. In some cases, you have to fill out a form obtained from the insurance website.
Filing a claim with the responsible party’s insurance carrier can be daunting. During the accident, secure the insurance name, contact information, and even the policy number of the person at fault. Both parties need to negotiate to reach a settlement. If there are disputes, you might need to hire an auto accident attorney and file a lawsuit.
4. File a police report
It’s crucial to report the vehicle accident to the police. Be sure to do so when the incident results in severe injuries and substantial damage. In fact, it’s best to get a police officer during the actual scene. The officer will get the details of the accident and come up with a police report. Be sure to obtain the officer’s contact information so that you can work with them for future legal action.
5. Work with the insurance adjuster
The adjuster serves as the investigator of the insurance company. Their functions include the following:
- Review and analyze the police report
- Inspect your vehicle
- Obtain medical records and bills
- Interview witnesses
- Estimate damages
That said, collect as many pieces of evidence as possible during the actual accident. If you deem someone’s at fault, take photos and videos of the scene. Be sure to document your personal injury and the vehicle damage. Plus, don’t forget to record the statements of the witnesses.
After the investigation, the adjuster will come up with an estimated offer for claim settlement. Then, you’ll get compensated by your insurance company based on your coverage. Or you’ll get compensation from the insurance carrier of the party at fault. But if there are disagreements, you can get a lawyer and file a lawsuit.
At this point, you now know how to file an auto insurance claim. Whether submitting a claim to your insurance carrier or filing one with the responsible party’s insurance, follow the steps above. With all these in place, you’ll have the utmost protection from financial losses.