An auto insurance claim is basically a request made to the auto insurance service provider after a car accident. The request can also sometimes imply a call o intercede on behalf of the insured person to solve the legal quandary and compensate for the loss incurred.
Two things that you ought to know in case you hit someone/something or if someone rams into you are:
A) You have to stop, even if you think that no damage has occurred on either side, you are under a legal obligation to stop your car.
B) You don’t have to admit the responsibility for the crash. Your insurance policy clearly states that if you want the insurance provider to intercede on your behalf, you should never assume liability. Sit pretty and let insurance guys do all the talking.
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After you have rammed your car or got hit by someone, you must contact the police. It is advisable to have the police officer note down the details of the car accident in the report. It is likely that you will have a hormonal rush and that will make you feel dull and drowsy.
Therefore you won’t be in a position to assess what has happened and won’t be able to gather the required information for the purposes of car accident claims.
The road-rash often triggers a violent outburst and things can escalate quickly if either of the parties involved starts to get tough. If the police enter the scene, it will ensure that you don’t enter into a brawl with the opposite party.
Besides, the police will also make sure that the paramedics/fire-fighters are at the scene to help handle injuries or severe damages like leaking oil, etc.
The police report will help you with car accident claims.
File an Accident Report with the concerned authorities
Every state has different laws regarding the reporting of accidents. Some states have made it mandatory to report the details of the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You have to be very particular about reporting if your state demands so. If you don’t know how to go about it, ask your insurance agent or contact your state insurance commissioner’s office.
Compile all the facts of your car insurance
This could be a no-brainer for most of the people but people often forget this due to stress. It is crucial to get the names, addresses and contact number of all the parties involved in an accident. A description of the car; where it has got the dent and what all damages it has received come in handy as well.
An important thing to note here is that most people don’t keep a record of the opposite party’s vehicle identification number and it becomes difficult to trace them with just license plate number. It is so because most insurance companies only record the type of car and vehicle identification number.
Call Your Insurance Company
After the storm has settled down at the site of the accident, call your call insurance company. They will guide you through the process and tell you precisely what all information they need.
If your car is ramshackle and you can’t drive it back to home, your insurance provider will get your car towed and give you a car to drive meanwhile your car is being repaired (if you have the coverage). If you don’t call them, you won’t benefit from the coverage that you have bought and might have to bear the expenses from your pocket.
Claim Specialist to the rescue
Once your claim is reported to the insurance service provider, they assign you an adjuster who works on your case. The adjuster also advocates for you in third party discussions or in front of judicial authorities. They investigate what has happened and work to get your claim settled.
You will be in touch with your claims adjuster all through the process. If your car is at the garage, the claims adjuster will contact the garage and inquire about the estimate of the repairs.
More often than not, insurance companies prefer certain garages for car repairs because they have an association with them. Insurers also provide guarantees on some repairs. Ensure that you know how your insurance company handles car accident claims.
Further, if you would require a rental vehicle whilst your car is being restored, the adjuster can arrange a vehicle for you in that case.
The adjuster will also review injury claims and handle payments that need to be made.
Diminished Value Claim
After you have met with an accident, your car’s value drops considerably even after repairs and restoration. The sudden plummeting of value is at times afflicting in nature and you may want to get compensated for it or immune yourself against the sudden drop in value. This is why; you would want to make it a diminished value claim.
Total Loss Claim and Gap Insurance Coverage
It hurts to see your car damaged and it hurts even more if the cost of repairs exceeds the overall value of your vehicle. This is where gap insurance comes in really handy. Gap insurance is an endorsement or inclusion that is added to your insurance policy.
At times, it’s difficult to understand how the total loss is calculated. Knowing how much time it takes to settle the claim may help in you avoiding frustration.
Cost of Car Repair and Claim Payment
Once the adjuster has gone through your vehicle, you should have an idea about the cost required to repair your vehicle, moreover, the deductible that you shall require to pay. The estimate generally highlights the work that needs to be done; denting, painting and fabrication, etc. Once you agree upon the details of the estimate, your car is sent to the garage for repairs.
Never ever accept an offer from the opposite party unless it has been reviewed by your insurer. When you want the insurance company to intercede on your behalf, you are also under an obligation to decide the course of settlement. Moreover, you are no authority to represent them.
Once the estimate is prepared, always ensure that your car accident claims are approved. Otherwise, they won’t be reimbursed
Coverage for a Car Accident or Claim
Your car insurance cover could vary based on the inclusions; comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, etc. Car accident claims would depend on the scenario, the scope of the damage and on how extensive is your insurance cover (of course).
Much like the Bing Bang, you ramming into someone (or vice versa) surfaces up many new things; claims, settlement, and reimbursement which were almost non-existent for you. The intent of this piece was to make you acquainted with the car accident claims and what you ought to do in case of a fatal accident. We hope we have done our bit.