How to File a Claim
It’s a rainy Monday morning and the traffic is heavier than usual. At this rate, you’re going to be late, all the good parking spots will be taken. Plus, forget having time to stop at Starbucks for your morning latte. Just when you think you can’t be more stressed, you get rear-ended. You try your hardest to be a responsible driver, pay attention to the car in front of you and always use your blinker. Unfortunately, you cannot control the other drivers on the road. Getting into an auto accident is arguably one of the most stressful situations people are ever in. Not only does it involve you being a responsible driver with insurance, but you have to hope that the other driver is insured. So what do you do now? Read on to learn my tips to make this an easier process!
The first step is to contact the police or file a report, depending on the severity of the incident. You may only need to report to the DMV. Use your best judgement in the moment. Unfortunately, each accident has different circumstances. Be prepared to research on the spot, go to your provider’s website and look up what they require for a claim. In this time frame, you should be gathering necessary evidence such as injuries, damage done, if a driver admits fault, if the driver is insured, and exactly what happened, etc. Be as specific as possible. Filing a claim with your insurance should not cause your rates to go up, especially if you are not at fault. Being in an accident where you are at fault could have adverse effects on your monthly rate.
The preliminary work will be done by you and whomever else was involved in the accident. Next steps include gathering information about the other driver. Their license and insurance coverage should be documented via photograph by you, if possible. In the event that you cannot leave the scene because your car in undrivable, you should have already contacted the police and then your insurance company. They will arrange you with transportation while you are without a vehicle. Once the claim is filed, your insurance company should have a specialist that will relay information between the two insurance companies involved in the accident. This is the easiest part of the claim. Hopefully, your insurance company will work to get you the best coverage for repairs and reimbursement for rental cars.
My biggest tip for these unfortunate events is being prepared. Don’t find yourself without coverage or unsure of where to look for advice from your insurance provider. Take the steps needed before you hit the streets to be a responsible driver, because we all know it goes beyond just driving. Most companies will provide safety and tutorial videos for specific needs or uses. Look to your provider to be a partner in education when choosing your policy. Good luck and drive safely!