Nobody wants to be involved in an accident, and although the car insurance claim process following an accident can seem overwhelming, there are a number of ways to help the process go smoothly. The guidelines below will help you learn what to do after an accident, how to file an auto insurance claim and learn helpful tips to speed up your car insurance claim.
What should I do after an accident?
Gathering as much information as you can, as early as you can, is one of the best things you can do to speed up the car insurance claim process. This process should start at the scene of the accident:
Gather personal information from those involved, including their names, phone numbers, and home and email addresses.
Exchange insurance information, because your claims adjuster will want to see that info first. If more than two vehicles are involved in the incident, make sure you obtain insurance details from every driver.
Contact law enforcement officials. When police officers arrive on the scene, record their names and cooperate as they collect information to put together for the police report. Usually, officers will give you instructions on how to get a copy of the completed police report. If any paperwork is given to you, make sure to hold onto it and share copies with your claims adjuster. It is important to remember that police may not be able to respond to every call, especially if you are involved in a minor accident where no one is injured.
Take pictures, if you can do so safely. Photos of the scene of the accident are important, including damage to your vehicle, the other vehicles involved, the location where the accident took place, the parties involved, witnesses and anything else that might be helpful.
How do I file a claim? And how do I speed up the claim process?
After you have taken immediate action following an accident, you’ll need to file a car insurance claim. There are several things you can do after the accident that can help move the process along.
Contact Your Insurer As Soon As Possible
If you contact your insurance company to file a claim immediately following the accident, your adjuster can take the necessary steps to get your claim moving. If you can do so safely, call your insurance company as soon as possible.
Respond Promptly and Cooperate
Once your claim is reported, your insurance adjuster will take the lead. They oversee the status of your repairs and address any issues that may arise, including further damage, payments for additional damage owed or changes to the expected completion date.
In order to quickly settle a car insurance claim, cooperation between you, your adjuster, the body shop and the other people involved is a necessity. A scenario like a minor fender bender is common and relatively easy for your adjuster to handle. The car insurance claim process can go very smoothly when everyone works together.
If you want to quickly check your claim status, remember to keep your adjuster’s contact information handy.
Provide As Much Detail As Possible
It’s understandable that sharing minute details about your accident could cause you some added stress, but it’s important to be up front about every aspect of the incident. These small pieces of information that you provide to the adjuster can be crucial to keeping your claim process moving. Give as much information as possible, even if it may seem insignificant!
How long does it take to settle a car insurance claim?
It can take anywhere from 30 days to six weeks or longer to settle a car insurance claim. Several factors can affect how long it takes for your car insurance claim to settle, including:
Communication. The adjuster and the claimant should stay in contact during the car insurance claim process to help move the process along.
An inability to pay your deductible. Typically, you must pay your deductible at the time of the repair. If you are unable to pay your deductible at that time, your claim may not be handled as quickly.
The type of claim. Claims for roadside assistance and glass replacement can be handled relatively quickly, while injury claims and natural disaster claims are more complex and can take longer to process.
Satisfaction with the completed repairs. If your repairs are unsatisfactory, be sure to say something immediately. The repair process may be delayed, but you’ll be happier in the long run knowing that your vehicle was repaired correctly.
Most importantly, being helpful, responsive, and cooperative with your adjuster are all simple ways to help speed up the car insurance claim process!
When I file a claim, how do I get a rental car?
When your car is being repaired, you still need transportation to work or school. If you carry rental reimbursement coverage on your policy, you may be able to get a rental car from an insurance claim to help you get from place to place while repairs are being completed.
If your vehicle isn’t drivable because of a covered accident or loss, rental reimbursement coverage can help with the cost of renting a car. It is important to know that this coverage is optional. You can only purchase rental reimbursement coverage if you also purchase comprehensive and collision coverage, and you must have it at the time of the accident to take advantage of its benefits.
Remember, we’re here to help answer your claim questions and help you file a claim quickly and easily. You can call Groves Insurance in Kings Mountain, NC for assistance and rest assured that no matter how complex your claim may be, we are here to help!
See How Our Independent Insurance Agency Benefits You
See How Our Independent Insurance Agency Benefits You