When you're involved in an accident, filing an auto insurance claim can be a daunting process. Knowing the steps to take and what to expect can help make the process smoother and less stressful. Here are 3 essential tips for filing an auto insurance claim that will help you get through the process with ease.
Call Your Insurance Professional Right AwayNo matter who is at fault, it's important to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible, even from the scene of the accident.
You can also use a mobile app to start your claim. The insurance company will assign an adjuster to your claim, who will likely contact you for additional information. When describing what happened, stick to the facts and avoid speculation. Provide all the photographs you took at the scene and the contact information of any witnesses.
Gather Necessary DocumentsFind out what documents are needed to support your claim.
This may include a police report, photos of the damage, repair estimates, and medical bills if you were injured. It's also important to get witness information and contact information for the other driver. Take pictures of the damage on both sides so that you can resolve any confusion later.
Understand How Your Claim Will Be PaidFiling a claim will usually increase auto insurance premiums from 3% to 32% on average for three to five years in almost all cases. The increase in your rate depends on several factors, such as the type and amount of the claim, your insurance company, your claim history, your location, and whether or not your accident is forgiven.
Auto insurance companies pay claims by sending you a check, transferring the payment to your bank account, or paying directly to the mechanic. Once your claim is approved, you will receive payment in the amount determined by your insurer. It generally takes about 30 days for an auto insurer to pay a claim, but this time period may vary depending on the state of the policyholder and the circumstances of the claim. If the damage to your car is likely to cost less than your deductible and no one else was involved, you don't need to file a car insurance claim since your insurer won't pay it. You also have the right to know how the insurance company you hired to pay your claim will handle your claim. Understanding how the claims process works can make filing a claim easier and less stressful. Depending on your state, you may have 1 to 6 years to file a personal injury claim or 1 to 10 years to file a property damage claim. To make sure that everything goes smoothly when filing an auto insurance claim, it's important to be prepared.
Make sure that you have all of the necessary documents ready before filing a claim and be sure to contact your insurance provider right away after an accident. Knowing what documents are needed and how claims are paid can help make filing an auto insurance claim less stressful.