Making claims can be very stressful. Not only have you gone through an accident, but now you have to recount the details and make sure you aren’t missing any steps or details. Yes, this is why you have insurance, but you still hope you never have to go through this process. But life has its bumps, and it’s always better to be prepared and protected than to bet on nothing bad ever happening. So, what should you do and expect when making a claim?
Firstly, and most importantly, stay at the scene and call the police. Take plenty of pictures of the incident and wait for the police to file a report to prove who was at fault. Remain calm and exchange contact and insurance information with the other party. If it’s not a comfortable situation to ask for the other party’s information, your insurance carrier will get the information from the police report. If there are witnesses, make sure to have their contact info ready as well.
Do not discuss policy coverage, limits, or fault personally- instead, let the insurance companies and police do that for you. Report the claim once all of this is done, and you and your car are safe. You can do this through your local agent or directly to the claims center of your insurance provider.
You should have all of the following information ready to give when making a claim:
- Time and date of the incident
- Incident Location
- Any injuries
- Damage to Vehicle
- Police report number
- Information collected about/from the other party.
After the Claim
After the claim has been filed, you will receive a call from your insurance representative. This is to make sure that you’re still ok and to explain how your policy will handle the damage. If your car can no longer be driven or is being repaired, they will help you get into a rental car – this is where having Rental Reimbursement coverage comes in! If you don’t have this coverage, your agent will work with you to find your best option.
Sometimes claims require further investigation, especially if multiple vehicles are involved. This is why you want to collect the information of witnesses and everyone involved. After the claim is resolved, your insurance may send you a survey asking you about the process. These provide fundamental feedback and help the companies and agencies to improve their processes and serve you and other clients better! Please fill these out so that everyone can help each other as best as they can.
Similar to filing an auto claim, you will start with notifying your insurance company of the claim. If foul play or tampering is suspected, the police will also need to be called to file their report as well. You will need to describe the incident as best as you can, but your agent will ask you questions to make sure that the information given is sufficient. An adjuster will then come to your home to inspect the damage and take pictures and an account of the claim. Try to leave the scene untouched so that they can get an accurate understanding of the situation.
After the Claim
Once this is complete, and when it is safe, try to secure any undamaged property. You should also collect a list of damaged or destroyed property for repair or replacement compensation. Find somewhere to stay during the claims process. Your adjuster will give you an estimate for the cost to repair the home and your property, as well as for the replacement of any unsalvageable items. Once an agreement has been made on this amount, you are free to start the repairs process. Depending on your coverage, the team you hire will repair, replace, or rebuild the damaged areas, and soon you will be able to move back into your home!