If you have been in an automobile accident or have had other types of damages, such as flood or hail damage, you may need to file a car insurance claim. This process can be complicated if you don’t know how to proceed or what to expect. To help, follow along our step-by-step guidelines to ensure your claim is submitted and processed by your car insurance company correctly and your claim is not denied.
Gather the facts and documents
- Policy number
- Date and time of incident
- Description of the events
- Name and insurance information for the other party involved
You are going to need several documents to submit your claim successfully. Be sure to include a police report, and always make sure you get the license number and insurance company of the other driver. You will need this information when you submit your claim. You can find your policy number on your insurance card. If there are any witnesses to the accident make sure you get their contact information and provide it to your insurance company.
Submit the Claim
If you’ve been in a car accident make sure you call 911 and have a police report filed. This will be used by your insurance company to determine if they will pay your claim. Then contact your insurance company as soon as possible no matter who is at fault in the accident. this can even be done at the scene of the accident. You can call the 1-800 hotline on your insurance card to begin, or alternatively, many insurance companies allow you to submit claims on their website.
After the claim
Once you have made your claim, expect an insurance adjuster to come out to survey the damage. Beyond that, each insurer goes about the claims process in different ways. For that reason, be sure you ask them after you submit what you should expect or do next. You will also be contacted by the insurance company of the other party to provide your side of the story or to simply verify your information. If they want your side of the story they may ask you to give a recorded statement, that they will then use when fact gathering.
If you don’t feel your compensation is adequate you can submit a form of arbitration with your insurance company. This process can take several weeks but it usually doesn’t stop your claim from being paid immediately. If the insurance company determines that you are owed more than you received then the insurance company will issue you a second check with the difference.
“Tips for filing a car insurance claim” – Department of Motor Vehicles
“8 steps to filling an auto insurance claim” – Bankrate
“Reporting a claim” – Progressive