Few motorists will ever make it through their driving careers without needing to file an automobile insurance claim. We’re talking about something that happens, on average, 6 million times per year!
Upon the first impact, that can seem like a daunting task, particularly if you’ve never given the logistics of it a lot of thought. In the following article, we’ll be giving you a plan for what to do in the immediate and later aftermath of an accident. Let’s get going!
1. Contact Police
Some police officers will advise that accidents on private property are out of their purview. Still, if you call them, they will come.
It’s a good idea to this in case a citation can be issued. Citations are very helpful to insurance companies when determining fault.
After you give them a call, you’ll want to file an accident report. They will give you a call-for-service number that will be essential in pursuing your automobile claim.
2. Take Pictures
Another helpful part of the auto insurance claim process is to take pictures of the accident. You’ll want to do your own car and any other cars or property involved.
If you get any pushback from the other motorist, be accommodating. Encourage them to take pictures of your vehicle as well. Both insurance companies, if the other motorist is insured, will need photos of the accident to feed to the claims adjuster.
3. Call the Insurer
Once you have the process underway, call your agent. You’ll still be on the scene of the accident. It may be after hours.
If it is, you’ll probably have to be patched through to a customer service representative to deal with issues like the choice of a towing company. While you’re at it, see if you can confirm an email address to send pictures and the CFS number to expedite the filing process.
4. Let the Adjuster Do Their Thing
Once the insurance company has the CFS number and the pictures, they’ll be able to access the report and any pictures necessary to process the claim. It also may require them to look at the physical vehicle.
What they’re trying to determine for you is whether the vehicle is repairable or needs to be totaled. Give it a few days, and he or she will be in touch with their recommendations.
5. Follow Up
If you haven’t heard from your adjuster in a while, don’t hesitate to follow up on where they are in the auto insurance claims processing. At this point, feel free to reach out to your insurance agent during normal office hours.
6. Consider Retaining an Attorney If Needed
Sometimes motorists in auto accidents will experience a serious injury that necessitates the service of a personal injury attorney. Other times, the injuries won’t be as obvious but may settle in once the adrenaline rush from the accident dies down.
Look for the best personal injury attorney you can find to help in these situations. Many claim settlements are higher with the involvement of an attorney, so it’s in your best interest to explore this option.
Get Your Automobile Insurance Claim in the Right Hands
An automobile insurance claim doesn’t have to be a scary process. If you have the steps outlined above in your head, it’ll go smoother.
For more useful content, be sure to explore some of our other articles.