How to file a Auto Insurance Claim
So something has happened and now its time to file a claim. What you do next is very important and can drastically affect how much your insurance company will pay out for your car. Filing a claim doesnt need to be a scary thing and is usually fairly easy process. So here is a sort of top 10 list of things to do in the event of a claim.
Top 10 things to do in the event of a claim
1. Call the police? If you have an accident especially with another person or vehicle your best bet is to call the police and have an accident report written up.
2. Make sure everyone is ok and there are no injury’s
3. Assuming there are no health emergencies exchange info with other driver get his name, address, phone#’s, insurance info, license plate (in case of fake info)
4. Take pictures of the vehicles involved. Take pictures of skid marks or other damaged property ie… trees, signs, poles,grass ect. These photos maybe the difference of getting paid or having to pay they say a picture says a thousand words. With photos its not just your word against his.
5. Write down every single detail you can remember. You will get asked what happened many times and its important to have a timeline to keep your story straight. This also makes it easier to deal with the insurance adjusters.
6. Did you go to the hospital? Should you go to the hospital? This is sometimes difficult to know. If your in any doubt go!!! Keep records and check your medical payments coverage on you auto insurance you may have some coverage there for you injury’s (usually $1,000 to $10,000)
7. Get your own estimates if possible for vehicle damage. If your vehicle is totaled do your own research as to what its going to cost to replace your vehicle. You will want to do some web searches and find as close to your car as possible millage, make, model, year for comparisons.
8. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate, remember an insurance adjusters job is to pay as little money as possible for your auto insurance claim. Many times they are willing to pay more if they feel threatened with a larger claim (lawsuits)
9. Perhaps you need an attorney to represent you? This is always a very indiviual concern. Usually it doesnt make sense to hire one if there are no injury’s and minor physical damage.
10. Cash the check and get your car fixed