You must be very lucky if you have never had the misfortune of making an insurance claim after a car accident. Now it is time for you to make the smart move by learning everything about the car insurance claim process so that you can be prepared.
The car insurance claim process can be a little complicated and intimidating for people who have not done it before. It is also important that you follow the right steps properly to ensure a smooth process. If not, you stand the chance of getting the claim process delayed, or even rejected.
Let’s take a look at the entire process of the car insurance claim with this step-by-step guide.
Insurance Claim: The Basics
There are a few steps that you need to keep in mind the moment you get in a car accident. Follow these steps and every other process will be smooth. Here are the steps:
• Call the cops
• Take pictures and videos of the accident
• Take pictures and videos of both the cars involved in the accident
• Call your insurance company
• File a claim
• Go through the insurance company’s procedure
• Pay the deductibles (if needed)
• Get your insurance amount
Now let’s take a look at all these steps individually and in detail.
Call the Cops
So you just got into an accident with another car. This is the most difficult part as many people are in shock. First of all, get out of the vehicle if you can and get away from the car as soon as possible. Make sure you are not injured or bleeding.
Then, call the cops. You must call the cops and make an official police report about the accident. Many auto insurance companies reject an insurance claim if there is no official police report about the accident. So call the cops, get a police report, and make sure they know about the accident.
Take Pictures and Videos of the Accident
This is another important step that many people skip either due to confusion or injuries. But if you are capable of taking pictures and videos, then take your smartphone out and start recording the entire thing.
While recording, it is also important that you describe the entire accident, how it happened, everything. Many times people forget the details of the accident, which can delay the claim process. So you should keep a video log of the entire accident.
Take pictures and videos of both the cars involved in the accident
Not just the accident, but take pictures and videos of both the cars involved in the accident. Make sure that you show the damages, scratches, and other damaged parts of both cars in the video.
These videos will help both your and the other driver’s insurance company in expediting the insurance claim process with fewer hurdles. Now that you have all the proof, it is time to involve your insurance company.
Call your insurance company
Call your insurance company and let them know about the accident. Tell them every detail that you can think of. Even though the accident was not your accident, you must inform your insurer about the accident.
File a claim
Coming to the claiming process now is the time when you make a claim. Note that this does not have to be done immediately after the accident. There are other processes and things you might have to do. Once you have the proof and have reported the accident, you can claim after you have done all the necessary things.
Filing the claim can be done either over the call or through your insurer’s website or application. The process is fairly simple. You need to find the tab that says “file a claim” and then proceed with the steps.
Go through the insurance company’s procedure
Filing a claim is not the complicated part. The part that follows after is. Depending on your insurance company, you can either get a simple procedure or a very complicated one. This step involves some paperwork, evidence evaluation, and in-person investigation.
A representative from your auto insurance company will visit you to make sure there is no insurance fraud happening here. There will be some questions that may sound a little accusatory. Just keep answering every question without taking anything personally.
After all the questions have been asked and the evidence evaluated, the insurance agent will approve the claim. This may take anywhere between two or three days to seven or even ten days, depending on the complexity of the accident and the availability of evidence.
A pro tip: If you don’t have a dashcam already, get one. Dashcams can speed up the insurance claim process and un-complicate the entire claim process.
Pay the Deductibles (If Needed)
Once your claim has been accepted, you’ll be asked to pay the deductibles if needed. Deductibles are needed only for a few insurance policies such as collision insurance, comprehensive insurance, personal injury protection plan, etc.
If you are claiming the other driver’s liability insurance, you do not have to pay anything from your pocket. After this step is cleared, you’ll get a mail or message from your insurance company about the insurance amount.
Get your insurance amount
Depending on the insurance policy you claim, you can either get the insurance amount via wire transfer, check, or directly send it to the car mechanic or the hospital. Many insurance companies directly pay the bills for medical treatments or car repairs.
Some insurance companies have a list of approved mechanic shops. So you are bound to get your repairs done from these approved shops only. Whatever the method, your insurance amount will be sent to you one way or another.
Your insurance company will pay the coverage limit amount at max. If you are looking for affordable car insurance policies at affordable rates, find them by going here. And that’s it. That’s how you make sure your insurance claim gets approved without much hassle. Just make sure that you have all the proof and follow these steps sequentially.