Auto insurance is something every driver should have, even though they hope they'll never need it. After all, getting in an accident is bad enough, but dealing with the claim forms, car repairs, and adjusters afterward can make this situation even more stressful. However, by knowing what to expect from this process, you can ensure it goes more swiftly.
When Should You File an Auto Insurance Claim?
If you've been in a car accident, you'll need to file an auto insurance claim to request compensation from your insurance company. You should also file a claim if your vehicle has been vandalized, stolen, or damaged by weather.
How to File a Claim
Contact the Police
Whether you were in an accident or your vehicle was damaged or stolen, you should contact the police. In many jurisdictions, you're required to file an accident report with the police department or DMV, so it's best to do this while the details of the incident are still fresh.
In the case of an accident, get the name, address, phone number, and insurance company of all parties involved. Also, be sure to get their insurance policy number and take a photo of their insurance card, if possible. Finally, write down the make, model, and license plate number of other vehicles involved.
Whether you were in an accident or another incident, list the date, time, and location, and write down a brief description of what occurred. Take photos of the damage and scene before your car is moved. Additionally, write down the names and phone numbers of witnesses, as well as the name and badge number of police officers who arrived at the scene.
Call the Claims Office
Your auto insurance carrier likely has a designated phone number for claims that is listed on your insurance card. File the claim over the phone or online, and give the claims representative all the information you have about the incident. Submit photos and documentation as instructed.
If your car isn't drivable, the claims specialist may be able to arrange for towing and a rental car. Before hanging up, get a claim number for your case from the agent.
Talk With the Adjuster
After you've filed an insurance claim, an adjuster will be assigned to your case. They'll approve repair costs and payouts for injuries, and they'll also represent you when talking to other people as they get your claim settled.
If you’re shopping for auto insurance, the team at Chanler Agency will help find the right coverage to meet your needs. This independent insurance agency has been serving clients in Livingston County, NY, since 1973. For more information about their products and services, visit their website. To speak with an agent, call (585) 243-5520 for their Geneseo office or (585) 346-3118 for Livonia.