Whether your vehicle has been stolen, vandalized, damaged in a storm or been involved in an accident, you want to be fairly and adequately reimbursed.
Learn all of the specifics for billing your auto insurance company and then be sure to enter your ZIP above for a FREE car insurance quote comparison!
The Importance of Communication
Immediately following a loss of any kind, it is extremely important to contact your insurer.
Of course, before you do so, you must make sure that no one is in any danger of injury, your vehicle is not at risk for further damage, and you have contacted the appropriate emergency responders.
Once everything is stable, call your insurance company to report the loss and to get further instructions on what to do next.
Most people are not familiar with what to do in the case of a car accident or other types of damage to their vehicle.
In certain cases, especially if no one is at risk of being injured and the car does not need to be moved, the insurance company or the adjuster will want to see it before you do anything at all.
In such cases, if you do move it or begin to clean it up or repair it, you will risk any payout for which you may be eligible.
Another reason it is so important to communicate with your insurer is because you need to know what is covered and what is not. Some policies pay for towing while others do not. Certain policies pay for rental cars in the case of insurance claims.
If you want to minimize out of pocket expenses, communicating with the insurer about such things will ensure that you get everything you need and deserve to get.
The Importance of Documentation
As soon as possible following the incident, take pictures of everything from a variety of angles.
Luckily most people have cell phones with camera options today, so they are equipped to photograph accidents or other damage before the vehicle is moved. Such pictures will give you excellent proof for claims you will need to make.
Take a variety of pictures of any other vehicles involved, the road conditions if necessary, skid marks, weather, even a thermometer reading.
When filing your car insurance claim, you will want to have as much additional documentation available as possible. Following the incident, go to the police station and get a copy of the report that was filed about the event, if the police were involved. This is an important document to include.
If you have incurred expenses related to the incident prior to filing the claim, make sure you include them. Attach receipts for rental cars, debris cleanup, repair bills, etc.
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Preparing the Claim and Following Through
By being thorough in the preparation of your insurance claim, you will have the best chance of a successful outcome. Some tips to follow include:
Be truthful in your claims documents. If you are not, it will likely be found out and the claim will be delayed or even worse, denied.
If your vehicle was in excellent shape prior to the incident, provide photographic proof. This will help you get the best claims payout possible.
Make sure that the claim form you are filing is completely filled out. If you have left out any necessary information you will be slowing down the entire process.
Once the claim is submitted, it is important to follow up with the insurance company regularly. Claims should not take a long time to process. Therefore, contact them shortly after submission to make sure it was received. Then check in regularly until you have a check in hand.
If you struggle to get a fair settlement from your insurance company when you deserve to be compensated, it is an indicator that the time has come to start looking elsewhere for car insurance coverage.
An easy way to get started sifting through the many insurers on the market today is by using our online quote tool to get the price quotes you need from many of the top insurers serving your area.
Just be sure to check out their claims history and record of complaints before taking out a new policy. If you want to start now, just enter your ZIP code in below now!