Learn what you need to do if you’ve been in a car accident. Follow these steps to make your claim:
Contact the police
Having a police report in hand can be the difference in between being able to file your claim or not. Insurance companies will not pay a claim solely based on your word. Never accept an offer from another driver to pay you off. If you do, you may miss out on the claim from your Insurance company. However, according to Bankrate and J. D. Howard (co-founder of the Insurance Consumer Advocate Network). “There are a lot of jurisdictions where the police officers may try to avoid taking an accident report, assuming that the damage is under $500”. He also advises to “Insist on a report. If [officers] won’t file a traffic accident report, insist on an incident report. You want an independent, disinterested record of what happened. You’d be amazed at how often the other driver’s story will change.” Make sure you write down everything that happens. Become an investigator and be aware that other drivers may try to commit insurance fraud.
Use your phone to snap a few pictures of the accident and both vehicles involved. If your car ran into a pole or house, take pictures of all damages. If you were at fault, your insurance will have to pay for the other damages as well, but expect your premiums to go up. Having pictures is the best prove you have to make sure your claim is settled correctly.
Contact your Insurance company
Most insurance companies have a 24 hour claim policy with agents ready to help you. SafeAuto have in – house adjusters, which only means that your claim will be settled quickly. They also use independent adjusters who live in your areas, so that they can appraise the damage fast. Once they receive the adjustment, they will send you a check so that you can start fixing your car. Read your insurance policy to learn how much your deductible is and how much you need to pay out of the pocket. Most deductibles are $ 500. Depending on your claim, you may receive a car to drive while yours is getting fixed.
Exchange information with the other driver
While waiting for the police to show up, exchange information with the other driver. Ask to see their license, get their phone number, write down the tag number and get the name of their insurance company. If they are unwilling to provide it, wait for the police report. You will need to provide this information when filing your claim.
Hit and run
If you were involved in an accident where the other driver took off, always call 911 first. That person is dangerous to others and needs to be stopped. While waiting on police, find any witnesses, get the car description, and the tag number if possible.
To make sure you file your claim properly, follow the directions from your Insurance company. Gather all the information you can before calling them to speed up the process, including your policy number and the vehicle information involved in the accident.