When you’re involved in an auto accident, working through a claim can be stressful. But knowing what to expect can ease you through the process and help you have a pleasant experience working with your claims professional.
Although the car insurance claim process can vary, most of the basics are the same.
If you’re in an auto accident, here’s what to do:
- Stay at the scene.
- Contact the police immediately.
- Exchange contact information, the name of your insurance company and your auto insurance policy number with the other parties involved in the accident.
- If applicable, be sure to gather contact information from any witnesses.
- Avoid discussions of insurance policy coverage, limits or fault.
- Report the claim once you and your car are safe.
So, what comes next?
- Let’s chat.
You’ll get a call from your claim representative, who will ask you about the details of your loss and explain your policy coverage and the claims process, including options for obtaining an estimate for the damage to your vehicle.
- Get back on the road with a rental car.
If your car is no longer drive-able and you have Rental Reimbursement coverage, you should be covered for the daily rate of your rental vehicle. The amount covered by your auto insurance is based on your policy’s rental reimbursement limits. Not sure if you’re covered for a rental vehicle? Your claim representative will provide direction. But, before you’re even involved in an auto accident, you should talk to Brandon about Rental Reimbursement coverage and see if it makes sense to add it to your policy.
- Sometimes claims require an investigation.
In claims with multiple vehicles, the adjuster will need to talk to all parties involved to determine things like liability, getting estimates, repair shop options and other important factors.
- Repair your vehicle.
While you always have the right to take your vehicle to any repair shop you like, most insurance companies can provide you with a recommended body shop which could come with extra perks, such as a lifetime guarantee on repairs while you own your vehicle, convenient scheduling and priority service. After you select a repair shop, your claim representative will guide you through each step of the repair process and work with you to resolve your claim fairly and effortlessly.
- Tell your insurance company how the claim process went.
After your claim is resolved, you may receive a survey regarding your experience. Your feedback is important to your insurance provider and essential to the growth and development of their products, services and people. If asked, be sure to provide your two cents, which will help improve the car insurance claims process for others. And lastly, consider giving kudos to an adjuster or claim representative who helped you have a great experience with your claim.
-Insurance Information Institute