So, you’ve been in an accident. After the police have been notified and you’ve sought medical attention, it’s time to file a claim with your insurance company to begin to get back to normal. The claims process can be simple if it’s clear who was at fault, if there is not much damage and if there were no injuries.
Beyond that, things can get complicated and time consuming. But if you understand the process, it can help things to go more smoothly. While every insurance company follows its own claims process, they all have the basics in common.
5 Steps To File Your Auto Insurance Claim
- Filing the Claim
For most insurance companies, you can file your claim on the phone, through their website or through their app. The first key to success is to file your claim as soon as possible after the accident occurs. Waiting days or weeks will jeopardize your ability to reach an optimal settlement.
- Investigating the Claim
After you file your claim with the insurance company an adjustor will be assigned to the claim. This is your point of contact during the process. The adjustor will review your coverage and let you know what is covered. The adjustor leads the investigation and may ask you for more information such as the police report, access to the other driver or witnesses, and a medical release so they can view your medical records. The adjustor may also come take a look at your car and take more pictures, even if you have taken them at the scene. The adjustor may go and visit the actual location of the accident also.
- Medical Bills
If you were injured and incurred medical bills because of the accident, the adjuster will need to see the bills. You may have to give the insurance company permission to look at your medical records also. Many people opt to hire a personal injury attorney in this case, simply for their own protection.
- Determining Fault
Another step in the process is determining who was at fault for the accident. Sometimes fault is split between both parties. So, your insurance company may pay 30% of the damages if you are found to be 30% at fault, and the other driver’s company will end up paying 70% of the costs. Sometimes though, the driver found to be mostly at fault will end up being responsible for all the costs.
Once all of this is worked out and worked through, it will be determined if you have a settlement coming. You should get a check from the insurance company, but don’t forget that your deductible will be taken out of the total amount first.
The claim process can take a while and if you are without your car, you may need to rent one. If you have rental reimbursement coverage, you may not have to spend too much. To review your coverage and make sure it fits your needs, use the InsuranceWins fast and easy form right now.