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Make The Process of Filing Your Car Insurance Claim Easier

No matter how carefully you drive, if you do it long enough, you will be involved in at least one accident. This is why it is essential for all car owners to have auto insurance, to protect them from crippling out-of-pocket expenses when accidents do occur. After the accident, however, comes the hassle of having to file a claim with the insurance company. Here are a few tips to filing your car insurance claim that could help make the process easier.

Before you get involved in an accident, you should know exactly what is included in your car insurance coverage. Sit down with your agent and talk about the terms of the policy.

Once you are involved in an accident, you should decide if you want to file a claim. If the accident is a minor one where no one was hurt and the cost of damage is below the deductible, then it might be better if you simply enter into a negotiated settlement with the other driver or pay for repairs yourself. Remember that your insurance company may raise your premiums, or even drop coverage altogether, if you file the wrong type of claim. Even getting in touch with your agent and asking about filing a claim may go on your record.

If you decide that you need to file a claim, then you need a legal report to back it up. This is why you should always contact the police whenever an accident occurs, even a minor one. All necessary information should be collected in the report, including the names of the other driver and his passengers, if any, the license plate number of the other car and their contact numbers, as well as those of witnesses to the incident. Also make sure to document the incident by taking photographs of vehicles involved in the accident so that the insurance company can determine the extent of damage to your car.

If you do decide to make a claim, get multiple quotations from different body shops that you can present to your insurer, to preempt them from arguing that the quoted prices for the repair are too high. And put your claim in writing by submitting a settlement of demand letter to your carrier in which you ask for a certain amount of money to pay for damages. Make sure that your letter is concise and clearly-written, and include all relevant documentation, including the legal report and photographs of the accident.

If the accident is a serious one where there is considerable damage to your car or if it is totaled, then get involved with the process of assessing the vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV). Remember that the higher the ACV, the bigger the settlement check will be, so do your own research and don’t take their word for it. And if you feel that you have a case, don’t hesitate to make your case and ask the insurer for an adjustment.

Being involved in a car accident can be traumatic, and having to deal with an insurer afterwards can make it worse. So these tips to filing your car insurance claim will hopefully help you resolve the matter more quickly so that you and your family can move on.

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