Got involved in a vehicular accident? Here are the important steps that you have to take to file a claim with your car insurance company:
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible, even if you are at the scene of the accident, regardless of who is at fault. Even if the accident appears minor, it is critical to notify your insurance company and determine whether your auto insurance policy covers the specific loss.
- Start your claim with a mobile app. Many insurance companies now provide apps that allow you to report a claim, check its status, upload photos, check your deductible, schedule an appraisal, reserve a rental car, and request reimbursement for towing and glass claims. Some apps even allow you to visually recreate the events and circumstances of your car accident in order to notify the insurance adjuster.
- Determine which documents are required to support your claim. Your insurance company will require a “proof of claim” form as well as a copy of the police report if you filled one out at the scene of the accident. Your insurer’s website may have a feature that allows you to track the status of your claim.
- Recognize the timeliness of your claim. To avoid missing a vital claim deadline, inquire:
Is there a time limit for filing claims and submitting bills under my policy?
- Is there a deadline for settling claims disputes?
- Is there a deadline for submitting additional information?
- When can I expect to hear from the insurance company?
- Determine whether your policy covers a rental car if your car needs to be repaired, and learn about the estimate and repair process as it relates to claims.
- Provide the information requested by your insurer. Complete the claim forms completely. Keep detailed and organized records of everything related to the claim, including the names and phone numbers of everyone you speak with at your insurer, as well as copies of any bills related to the accident. If you have any questions, contact your adjuster, an insurance professional, or your state insurance department.