Car accidents are unfortunate realities, you never know when one might occur. Thus, it’s important to know in detail about the process for making insurance claims in case of such an unfortunate situation.
This article will give an overview of the factors you need to look out for making the insurance claim effectively.
Actions You Need to Take Immediately After the Accident
Your safety comes first. If you are a victim of a car accident, the first thing to do is to move the car out of the traffic. Do this if you can and don’t leave the scene of the accident. If it’s not possible to move the vehicle, there is no need to panic. Just turn off the engine and get outside the vehicle if possible.
If the situation is too bad and someone needs medical help, don’t hesitate to call 911. Even if such an emergency situation hasn’t taken place, do report the accident to the police. The next step includes gathering certain information about the scene in detail.
Follow these Tips While Collecting the Information
- It’s not wise to put the blame on the other driver involved. Also, don’t readily accept the blame. This matter will be later decided through discussion with the insurance company.
- Taking photos of the scene is very important. Take photos of the other driver/drivers, license plates and any available traffic sign near the scene.
- Take pictures of the damages that occurred in the accident and also the direction in which the car was moving.
- Try to follow this handy tip: exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver.
- If possible, try to collect further information like details of the other car, your driving speed during the accident, the condition of the weather, condition of the road and witness details.
This information if collected properly will help you a lot when dealing with your insurance company.
Don’t Delay in Contacting the Police
Calling the police immediately after the accident is very important, especially if someone is injured. The insurance investigators will look into the police report after you make the claim. So it’s wise to collect information about the officers who come to the scene.
After an Accident, Whose Insurance Do You Call?
If the accident is such where the other driver is clearly responsible for the accident and accepts his fault, you don’t need to contact your insurance company. But if you are at fault, it’s best to call your insurance provider as soon as possible.
Did you know that there are some ‘no fault’ states in the US? In these states, the insurance company will cover any injury or damage done to your car, even if the other driver is at fault for the accident. If you live in one of these states, do check the policies related to car insurance in those states to get a clearer idea.
Case When the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Car Insurance
Almost every state in the USA requires you to have some car insurance coverage. It’s illegal in most states to drive without any car insurance for a certain period of time. But these cases are not impossible which is why uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is very important.
You can go with the option of pressing charges against the defaulter in this case. But in many of these cases you’ll have to spend more money and time. So it’s not a very viable option.
Things You’ll Need for Filing an Insurance Claim
- The policy number on your insurance card
- Information about the accident like date, time and location
- Insurance and other primary information of the other driver involved
- Details of the police department involved in the scene and the police report
- Description of the accident
Keep in touch with your adjustor or the person who will investigate your claim. He might offer you different quotes at different repair shops. Keep in mind you’ll have to pay the extra money if you choose your repair shop when the insurer’s estimate is lower than the charge.
Filing an insurance claim is a pretty straightforward process. You just have to make a call to your insurance company. Once you have provided them with the necessary information, a representative will be assigned to you for going through the whole process. The company will obviously review your claim but usually they’ll try to finish the process quickly.
Should I Make a Claim Right Away if I Don’t Have the Police Report?
Yes, you should. The process will be a little more complicated but it’s worthwhile. In this case, you should have the information like photographs of the scene, statements of those involved, weather conditions etc.
Delaying the process will not serve in the best of your interests. Many insurance companies will only cover for damages done to your car in the year of the accident. So never delay in making the claim.
What will the Insurance Company Do After You Have Made the Claim?
The insurance company, as mentioned before, will appoint an adjuster. He will investigate the whole situation by looking into various information- police reports, witness statements, and the condition of your car. They might also visit the scene of the accident and will interview you for your official statement.
It’s very important that you cooperate with the adjuster in this step. The better you can present your situation to him, the faster the process will be completed in your favor.
Make sure you try to gather all the necessary information about the whole scene mentioned before as much as possible. Don’t feel shy to gather necessary information about the other driver and the police involved. Also remember not to delay in contacting the insurance company after the accident.
Remember, you have higher chances of getting your damages covered if you have more evidence. Along with this, cooperate with the adjuster and the insurance company throughout the process.