Filing Auto Insurance Claims
How to File a Car Insurance Claim
Immediately following a car accident there are a few important steps that should be taken. Taking the appropriate steps can ensure that the insurance claim proceeds quickly and you receive all the necessary compensation you need.
What are some of the most important things to do?
- Call your insurance company immediately following the car accident. Do not wait days or weeks to call; do it right when you get home or immediately following your visit to your medical doctor.
- Make sure you understand your car insurance coverage. You may need to review your policy packet. Make a list of questions for your insurance agent and make sure you know what may not be included or covered after an automobile accident.
- Document your conversation with your insurance agent. Make sure you know the name of the representative you spoke with and the date and time of the conversation.
- Make sure all of the information from the scene of the accident is sent to your insurance company including: the names and phone numbers and insurance information of all of the other drivers who were in involved in the car accident, accident photos, and a copy of the policy report.
- Review all of your other insurance policies and make sure you do not have additional coverage.
- Do not do anything unethical or dishonest. Be truthful with your auto insurance company and do not do anything that might jeopardize your insurance coverage.
- Keep all of your receipts including meal recent, hotel expenses and any other documentation that is needed to verify the amount of time or money you had to spend to either pursue your claim or recover from your car accident injuries.
- Talk to a car accident attorney if you have any questions about your rights following a car accident. Car accident lawyers can review your insurance policy and explain what legal options you may have to recover damages from other drivers who may be responsible for the car accident.
Most drivers understand what they should do after a car accident, but many drivers make mistakes that end up costing hundreds of dollars. There are also some simple things that should not be done after a car accident.
- Do not talk to your insurance company without understanding your coverage and your legal rights.
- If you feel the appraisals for the repair work may be too low, you do not have to accept them. Insurance companies generally provide fair price estimates, but if you feel like the bid is too low you do not have to accept it.
- Do not ignore the statute of limitations or time limits established by your car insurance policy. Many companies have a set time limit to file a car accident claim. Failure to file your claim within the time limit may limit your ability to bring legal action.
- Do not let your insurance company fail to honor their contract. You have signed a legal contract with your insurance company, and they have agreed to provide a service to you. Failure to meet their contractual obligations is illegal.
- Do not sign any type of release waiver from your insurance company until you consult with a car accident lawyer. Car insurance companies are businesses, and they are trying to make money. Unfortunately, some car insurance companies may attempt to get you agree to an insufficient or premature monetary payout before you fully understand the cost of all of your losses.