Auto Insurance Claims – A Guide to Stress Free Claims
Anyone that owns a car or any type of vehicle for that matter is required by law to carry insurance. This is not only to protect the car but the car’s owner as well. Making an insurance claim is a lot like the different policies in place. Each has their own way of the correct procedure to follow. Most companies though are pretty similar in the way that process is carried through.
Filing a claim is not just an inconvenience, it can also be very stressful especially if someone has been injured or the car is a wreck. Thankfully statistics show that most claims are for vehicle damage rather than personal injury. To the insurance company, the only thing that really matters is who was at fault and is there proof of that fault.
There are four main things that insurance companies will consider when determining blame; Statements from those involved and submitted to the companies. Any police report, written statements from witnesses, and the actual damage to the car.
A lot of insurance company today advice drivers to carry a camera at all times. This can be as simple as your cell phone or a disposable camera. Pen and paper is also useful to have in the glove box. In this way you can get names and addresses from witnesses and their contact numbers and make notes yourself at the scene. Remember an accident will shake you up for while and it’s not always that you remember what happened clearly after the event as well as the right sequence in which things happened.
If you should be involved in an accident, before anything else, make sure that everyone involved is okay and that an ambulance is not needed. If it should be necessary, do not waste any time in calling. The next thing to do is make a call to the local police station, now it’s not always easy to get the police to attend especially if nobody is hurt, but a police report is a good tool when making your claim so do your best to try and get them to visit the accident scene.
Next, you will need to exchange insurance details plus names and addresses with the other person involved. Get the make and model of the car plus the plate number. Don’t forget to write everything down.
If there should be anyone that saw the incident, try and get statements from them as well although nowadays, it seems that people are not too willing to make them but try anyway. This is another reason to try and get the police to attend.
Your next step is to get in touch with both insurance companies as soon as you possibly can. The reason for contacting the other person’s company is just to make them aware you’re filing a claim. You should call your company and ask for any forms that need to be filled in and give them details over the phone as to what has happened.
The insurance company will then send an adjuster to review the damage and make their report as to how much they feel it will cost for repairs- if the car can be repaired. Be aware that if you should turn down the other person’s insurance offer for damages you could end up in a lengthy drawn out settlement fight.
Hopefully, you will never have to make a claim but it’s better to be safe rather than sorry after the event.