Have you ever been involved in a car accident? Did you work with an insurance company after the accident? If you answered yes, it’s possible you had some questions about the claims process. It can be a stressful time but there are some steps you can take to help make that process much easier. If you’re ever, unfortunately, involved in an auto accident, keep these five tips in mind to try to help simplify your claims process:
- Gather as much information as you can at the scene. Take photographs of the damaged vehicle. Snap a shot of the scenery if it’s safe to do so. If multiple parties are involved, try to take pictures of their damage, if possible, and always call the police. It never hurts to have a formal document to show what happened at the scene and be sure the police officer provides the report number.
- If another party is involved, trade insurance information before the police arrive, if it is safe to do so. Once the police arrive, they often separate the two parties so no contact is made. The police will record the insurance information on the police report, however this report may not be available until days or, in some extreme cases, weeks later. If you get this information from the start, there is less chance your claim will be delayed.
- Write down details so you don’t forget. It’s always helpful to give your claims adjuster the key pieces of information about the claim. Write down what street you on when the accident happened and what direction you were traveling. Which lane were you in? What time did the accident happen? How was traffic? Be sure to take note of the weather or road conditions. If you are in an unfamiliar area, write down some local landmarks to help an adjuster pinpoint your location.
- File the claim as soon as possible. The sooner the insurance company knows about the accident the better. Information that is transferred from the insured to the adjuster is fresher and details are sharper if less time has passed. This gives the adjuster a much fuller picture of the accident, allowing him or her to provide you quicker and more accurate service.
- Remember, this is a partnership; the insurance company wants to help you get through this difficult situation as efficiently and painlessly as possible. However, in order to do that they may need your help. They may ask you to give a statement regarding what happened in the accident, or they may ask you to get an estimate of damages from your body shop of choice so they can properly review the damages. Paperwork, such as your title, may be required to effectively pay out your claim. Although these documents may require some effort, they are essential to providing seamless service in adjusting your claim.
So if you find yourself needing to file an auto insurance claim, do not fret! Remember these quick tips in order to ensure your claims process is as stress free as possible.