The purpose of buying an auto insurance policy is to get compensated for the financial losses if you meet with an accident. When you pay the premiums, your auto insurer promises to compensate for the losses mentioned in your insurance policy. Here are the 7 necessary steps involved in filing an auto insurance claim after an accident.
1. Seek medical attention if required – If it’s an emergency that is, if someone needs medical attention, you should call 911 without delay.
2. Call the police immediately – If there’s no emergency, then you should first call the police. Remember, you’ll require the police report to file an auto insurance claim.
3. Exchange necessary information – Exchange contact and auto insurance information along with license plate numbers with the other parties, who’re involved in the accident. It is mandatory for the drivers in some states to carry auto insurance information with them.
4. Look for witnesses and note contact information – You should look for witnesses who’ll be willing to narrate what had happened. Do not forget to note down their contact numbers so that they can be contacted when required. However, if you’re not able to contact them, then the police report can serve as a back-up source of information while filing a claim.
5. Talk to your insurance company – You should call your insurance company without delay. It’s always better to call your insurer from the spot and explain what has happened.
6. If the other party is guilty – If the other party is responsible for the accident, then call his/her insurance company and inform that you’re filing an auto insurance claim through your insurance provider and also mention that you seek reimbursement for the losses which will not be covered by your insurer. You may also get a call from the other insurance company as they might want to know your version regarding how the accident had happened.
7. File the insurance claim – You should file the claim as soon as possible and if required, get help from your insurance agent. Fill out the necessary details in the insurance claim form and also attach necessary documents. Do not forget to keep a copy of the form along with the documents with you, so that you can produce them if required. You should also call the insurance company to inform them that you’ve submitted the claim along with the necessary documents.
After you file the claim, an adjuster of your insurance company will check your vehicle in order to make an estimation of what coverage you should get as per your auto insurance policy. The company may either pay you the amount required to repair the vehicle or will pay the dollar amount of your car’s depreciated value. However, you can always fill out an arbitration form if you think the compensation amount is lower than it should be and can also file a lawsuit, if required.