How to Claim Auto Insurance After an Accident

In the midst of a car accident, one of the first things on your mind may be making the necessary repairs to your damaged vehicle. While it may seem like a stressful and sometimes difficult process, it may be simpler than you think to claim auto insurance. These five steps may create an easier path to receiving the benefits your insurance policy entitles you to.

Step 1: Gather Information at the Scene of the Accident

Despite how unexpected your accident may be, it’s necessary to stay calm and gather all essential information once you’ve made sure everyone involved is okay. Ask the other driver for information like first and last name, insurance company and policy number, driver’s license number, and a phone number he or she can be reached at. This may also include calling 911 and filing a police report. Taking pictures and video of the accident is never a bad idea.

Step 2: Report the Accident and File a Claim

Call your insurance provider as soon as possible to report your accident and claim auto insurance. When talking to your insurance representative, be as detailed as possible and answer all questions completely and accurately. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your own – it may save you a phone call another day. It may be helpful to take notes during your conversation for reference later.

Step 3: Speak With the Other Person’s Insurance Provider

You will most likely receive a call from the insurance company of the other person involved in order to verify the accident and hear your side of the story. Make sure to state only the facts and be as clear and concise as possible, as this is a vital step to claim auto insurance.  Ask any questions you may have at this time. Picking up the police report from your accident, if filed, can be a tremendous help if you run into any trouble.

Step 4: Arrange for Repairs to Your Car

Once your claim has been filed, it may be necessary to arrange for a rental car if you have no other transportation while your car is being repaired. Depending on your policy, the cost of your rental car may be covered by your insurance. When you claim auto insurance, you may be asked to get estimates at different repair shops. During this process, you should be sure to ask questions and take notes while talking to mechanics.

Step 5: Repair Your Car

Once an estimate has been approved, you are free to get any repairs to the damages to your car necessary. If you are at fault, this may include paying your deductible. If the insurance provider who is responsible for repairing your car, whether it be your provider or the other person’s, fails to meet the full cost of repairs, you may need to negotiate with the insurance adjuster for a higher settlement.

It’s unavoidable: accidents happen, even to the most careful driver. It’s important to be prepared so that when one happens you are able to make it as pain-free as possible to claim auto insurance. By keeping a clear head at the scene of the accident and having the most accurate information at hand about what happened and how to fix the damage, you will be able to handle the situation in the best possible way.