File Car Insurance Claim After an Accident (How to Deal with Your Provider)

How to file a car insurance claim after an accident doesn't have to be complicated — take pictures at the scene and exchange info. You should avoid filing a car insurance claim for small fender-benders with no injuries. However, make sure you don't file a car insurance claim without a police report. Having the police report will make your life much more comfortable.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 17, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Take pictures of the scene as soon as possible
  • Call your insurance company right away to report the claim
  • Exchange information with anyone else involved in the accident
  • Keep in touch with your insurance adjuster until the claim has been paid out

When you are attempting to deal with insurance companies after a car accident, a little knowledge can go a long way.

By doing your research, you will gain the confidence needed to speak with your insurance company representative in an informed manner that will help you get the compensation you deserve.

To compare online car insurance rates from top companies in your area, enter your zip code now!

You will want to contact your car insurance company as soon as you have organized all the details of your car accident. Making your first call to the insurance company from a prepared position will help your case immeasurably.

Act Quickly After Your Car Accident

Two people exchanging numbers after an accident.

Ideally, you will have taken photos of the accident scene. With cell phones being such a common facet of everyday life nowadays, you can benefit from the camera function that comes with most mobiles.

Take photos of the damage to your car and of the overall scene. Try different angles. Take many pictures.

If you capture all the details, you may find clues after the fact that you did not notice at the time of the accident. Car accidents can be physically and emotionally draining. If you are able to take photos, they will be able to speak more matter-of-factly to the situation at hand than you can.

It will also help your case if you are able to obtain the personal information of the other driver or drivers in the accident.

Information you should ask for includes their names, number, insurance company, policy number, and car description (make, model, year and other distinguishing characteristics).

Accident witnesses are another important factor in your case. Try to get the contact information for any witness who can substantiate your version of events.

Once you have compiled this information, you will be in a prime position to deal with your insurance company.

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Calling Your Insurance Company After a Car Accident

Calling your car insurance company immediately after an accident not only gets things started quickly, but it allows you to deal with the car insurance representative while everything is fresh in your mind.

Additionally, it allows you to better deal with the time constraints put on filing claims with many insurers.

Some companies put a limit on how long they will deal with a claim from beginning to end.

A time limit of one year is a common example. The claim process can be lengthy, so you will want to call right away to maximize the time allotted.

You will be assigned a case adjuster who will be your liaison through the process.

Give the adjuster all the information you have compiled, including photos, driver details, and witness contact information.

You will also want to submit copies of all accident related paperwork such as repair quotes, repair bills, medical bills, medical diagnoses, and any documentation from work detailing time off and wages lost.

This documentation will combine to form a detailed picture of how the accident has affected your life.

How to get Your Insurance Money After a Car Accident


If you have studiously recorded all the above information, you will know what your case is worth.

Ask for compensation in that amount. Stand by this figure. If the adjuster tries to low-ball you, realize that this is a negotiation. You do not have to go with his or her initial offer.

Adjustors tend to begin with offers that are considerably less than the amount they have been told they can pay.

While telephone contact is important, you should also put your demands in writing. This is called the Demand Letter.

All you have to do is write down the details of the accident and attach copies of all relevant paperwork. Put your compensation demand in this letter.

This amount should be determined by adding up all the expenses incurred after the accident, as well as any estimates for future expenses. If you believe you are entitled to additional pain and suffering compensation, include your justification here as well.

Keep in Touch with Your Car Insurance Company Until Your Case Is Resolved


Give your adjustor a call with any questions or to check on how your case is going.

This accident had a profound effect on your life and finances, and keeping in touch with your insurance company will convey that importance to your adjuster.

If you have any fears about seeming like a bother, banish the thought from your mind. You are entitled to compensation for your accident in a fair, timely manner.

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Dealing With a Respected Car Insurance Company Will Make the Process Easier

If you have a car insurance company with a proven record of customer service and satisfaction, you will be at an advantage from the beginning.

If you are looking for a new insurer, try the car insurance quotes tool offered on this page. This piece of Internet technology allows you to get quotes from multiple insurers by typing in your information one time.

When it comes time to deal with car insurance companies after a car accident, you want to make sure you are putting your financial future in good hands.

Compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies with just your zip code today!

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

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