How to Make an Insurance Claim

Filing a claim with an insurance company is an important step in getting the car repaired in the event of an accident. The individual should be meticulous and proactive throughout the entire claims intake process. Individuals should follow these basic steps to ensure that the claim is successfully filed and damages covered by the insurance carrier.

When involved in a car accident, the first thing an individual should do is contact the police. The police will take both accounts of the accident. During the process, the police will probably draw an accident diagram detailing the extent of the damages. They will also issue any tickets if warranted. Once they are complete with assessing the damages, the officer will provide both parties with a card and case number. The officer should also be able to inform all individuals of the date the accident report will become available. The police report should be picked up once it is ready.

While waiting for the officers to arrive, the individual should begin taking pictures of any visible damage. The photos should be taken at the scene of the accident to ensure that the adjuster and investigator have the necessary information to move forward with the claim.

Any witnesses present at the scene of the accident should be sought out. Witnesses can help the authorities reconcile the various accounts of the accident. Witness numbers and names should be collected also if possible. Try to coax the witnesses into remaining at the scene of the accident to speak with the officers regarding the accident.

The individual should then call the insurance hotline. It is important to report the incident to the insurance company as soon as possible. Most insurance companies have a 24-hour hotline for accident reporting. The sooner the person contacts the insurance company, the better. The details are most likely to be more accurate if the individual reports the accident to the insurance carrier immediately. The person should be prepared to supply the agent with the policy number and confirm the car information during the call.

When the person arrives at home, it is a good idea to write out the details of the accident. The personal journal could become beneficial at some point during the settlement process. The individual should be recording the names of all individuals, companies and officers involved with the accident. Detailed notes on the dates of the incident will be needed, if the individual ends up having to deal with the State Insurance Commissioner over a claim.

Any receipts or medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident should be documented and carefully stored. The individual should make sure to keep the receipts in a location. Documentation is the most important aspect of any insurance claim.

Next, the person should become extremely familiar with the terms of coverage within the policy. The individual should verify the deductible amounts and all of the other components of the policy.

It is best to not speak to the other party’s insurance company. The insured’s carrier should be the primary and sole point of contact. The individual could complicate the claims process by becoming directly involved with the other party’s insurance company. Should the other party’s insurance company contact the individual; the person can simply give them the name of the carrier’s point of contact handling the claim.

Sometimes an insurance company can send the adjuster to a residence or place of employment to evaluate the damage. If the company has a direct repair program, the adjuster may simply refer the person to a garage to get the necessary repairs done. Some insurance companies may deduct the amount of the collision from the cost of repair. In this case, the individual will be responsible for the difference.

A successful claim usually occurs when an individual has taken meticulous notes. When a person deals with the insurance company, he or she should be as forthcoming as possible to avoid any potential fraudulent claims. It is essential that the individual avoid speaking with the other party’s insurance company without their personal carrier’s representative involved. If a person isn’t pleased with the settlement offer, the individual can either involve the lawyer or the state’s Insurance Commissioner.