Auto insurance claim problems can be handled if you follow these 11 steps which will keep everything organized allow you to flow through the process and not lose a large amount of money due to mistakes. The last thing you ever thought that would happen to you would be to have an accident. You are glad you have auto insurance now that you have had an accident and hopefully everybody is okay, but your car is damaged and it is time to file a claim to cover your accident.
Step 1. Call 911
Get help as soon as possible if anyone is injured. If no one is injured call the police because you are going to need an accident report, filled out by a police officer if there is any damage to your car or other cars.
Step 2. Find witnesses who saw the accident and get their contact information.
Even if they do not want to talk right now, should there be a lawsuit they can be subpoenaed at a later date.
Step 3. Exchange phone numbers.
Make sure you exchange contact information and insurance cards with the other people involved. If they do not have insurance make sure you tell the police officer.
Step 4. Accident report.
Even if the damage is minor, ask a police officer to fill out an accident report and if he does not want to. If the damage does seems to be minor, insist on an report of some kind anyway. It is very important to have a written report by the police officer after the accident. Accidents that seem very minor can result in large lawsuits. I myself was sued after a $100 fender bender and because of the accident report my insurance company handled the whole thing.
Step 5. Notify your Insurance company.
Call your insurance company right away and if you have your cell phone call from the scene of the accident. Give them all of the pertinent information including the name of the police officer, who filed the report. Make sure you get the name and badge number of the police officer.
Step 6. Write up your own report or record it on audio or video.
Write down your total recollection of everything that has transpired and do it as soon as you get home before you talk to anyone. The more people you talk to the more your recollection will change.
Step 7. Contact the insurance company of the other driver and tell them what happened.
By this time you should have the name of their insurance company as well as their insurance ID number. You should also have written down the license plate number of their car. Sometimes, people will not contact their own insurance company because they do not want their rates to go up.
Step 8. Make an appointment with the insurance adjuster and take your car to them or if it is to badly damaged have them come to see you and they will come up with an estimate of what it will cost to replace your car or restore it. Keep in mind the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company and is trying to save them money.
Fact: The insurance adjuster is only interested in saving the insurance company money.
Step 9. Before you accept a settlement from the insurance company to replace or repair your car make sure that auto body shop can and will do the work for that amount agreed to, less the deductible, or you may be left with a huge expense.
Step 10. If there are any injuries, do not release the insurance company and accept a settlement until doctors have signed documents stating that no further treatment is necessary.
Step 11. If the amount offered by the insurance company adjuster does not cover your expenses, you may have to get a lawyer and he or she will deal with the insurance company. You do not have to accept the first offer. You paid your premiums and now you have a right to make sure the damage is covered.
Jimmy says, if you follow the proper steps you can get you can get your claim settled and save yourself a lot of money. If you do not follow the proper steps you may wind up with big problems. Auto insurance claim problems are not difficult if you take your time and follow the proper procedure and do not allow yourself to be intimidated.