How do I Claim Car Insurance?

A car accident is a traumatic event that can include personal property damage, automobile damage, and medical injuries regardless of who is at fault.  The faster everything is fixed and everyone is back on the road, the sooner things will return to normal.  This is why car insurance is mandatory throughout the United States, and why each state has its own requirements.  However, there are different types of coverage available and how to claim cheap car insurance depends on what is covered within the policy.

How to Claim Car Insurance

Once the police and the paramedics have left the scene and any tickets have been received, the next call to make is to the insurance company or agent.  They can look over the policy and advise which forms need to be completed in order to file a claim.  In order to get started, they will need the date and time of the accident, the location of the accident, the names and addresses of the drivers, and if there were any witnesses.  If anyone received a citation, they will need to know that as well.

Documentation

Those involved in the accident need to keep a copy of the police report — if there is one — for the insurance company.  It will also help to take pictures of the damage, preferably at the accident scene.  Involved parties should fill out any other required documentation and keep copies of everything for their records.  They also need to ask the agent about the time frame for submitting the documentation and how long it will take to settle the claim.  Generally, claims are filed promptly and once the claim car insurance has been approved, repairs can begin immediately.

Waiting for Repairs

An insurance claims adjuster may want to assess the damage to the vehicles involved in the accident.  If there are already estimates on the damage, they will determine if the proposed costs are valid.  When working with another insurance company, if there is a disagreement with the claim car insurance coverage, contact your own insurance company instead.  They will get the repairs done and then get any reimbursement necessary from the other company, although they may charge the deductible until they are reimbursed, no matter who caused the accident.

Fixing the Car

The car should be restored to its original condition and if the insurance company requires that a certain collision shop be used, they will guarantee the work that is done.  If the car is older, it is acceptable to use used parts and this information should be on the written estimate.  However, new parts can be requested if they are available.  In addition, if the policy includes rental car coverage, a comparable rental car will be paid for by the insurance company during the time that the damaged car is being repaired.

Involved parties should keep the claim car insurance information available somewhere in the car at all times and get all the information available at the scene of the accident.  If the insurance company is called at this time, they will walk their client through the information that they need.  Sometimes they will even send an appraiser directly to the accident, eliminating one step in the claims process.  They will also provide a claim number that can be used to check on the status until the claim is paid.

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