1. Always file a claim after an accident, regardless of the damage.
2. File a claim as soon as possible after an accident.
3. Be prepared with all the necessary documentation.
4. Follow up with your insurance company to ensure your claim is processed.
5. Keep detailed records of all communication with your insurance company.
If you're like most people, your car is one of your most prized possessions. So, when something happens to it, it's only natural to want to file an insurance claim and get the damage repaired as quickly as possible. However, the process of filing a car insurance claim can be confusing and frustrating. This guide by Gosch Collision will walk you through the steps of filing a car insurance claim. That way, you can gain reassurance knowing that you're taking the best action for yourself and your vehicle.
Auto Insurance Claim: What You Need to Know?
Alrighty, let's make sure that you know what auto insurance is and what it covers before we go any further. The US-wide average auto insurance expenditure rose 1.0% to $1,070.47 in 2019 from $1,059.41 in 2018, as per the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. So, what is it? Auto insurance is a type of insurance policy that helps to protect you financially if your car is damaged or stolen. It can also help cover the repair costs if you're at fault for an accident. Most states require drivers to have some form of auto insurance, and it's typically mandatory if you finance or lease your vehicle.
There are two basic types of auto insurance: liability coverage and collision coverage.
Liability coverage helps to protect you if you're found at fault for an accident and covers the damages caused to the other driver's automobile (and sometimes injuries sustained by the other driver). It doesn't cover any harm to your own ride.
Collision coverage, on the other hand, helps to pay for the repairs to your own vehicle if it's harmed in an accident, regardless of who is found at fault. It can also help to replace your vehicle if it's totaled in an accident.
Many different factors go into how much you'll pay for auto insurance, including your car's make and model, your driving history, where you live, and more.
Navigating Through Auto Insurance Claim Process: Step by Step
All right, finally, now that we have all of that out of the way, let's get into how you would actually go about filing an auto insurance claim.
1. Call 'Em Up!
The first step is to call your insurance company and let them know that you've been in an accident and will be filing a claim. They will then assign you a claims adjuster who will act as your point of contact throughout the process.
2. Gather Your Documentation
Now it's time to compile all the documentation you'll need to file your claim. This will include a police report (if one was filed), bills and estimates for repairs, and more.
3. Submit Your Claim
Once y'all have your documentation in order, you can submit your claim to your insurance company. They will then review everything and decide how much they are willing to cover.
4. Negotiate With the Insurance Company
Suppose you're not happy with the amount that the insurance company is offering to pay. In that case, you can try to negotiate with them. If you still can't come to an agreement, you may have to take them to court.
5. Get Your Car Repaired
Once you have the money from your insurance company, you can then take your car to a mechanic and get it repaired.
Steps To File a Claim for 3rd Party Damages
The process of filing a third-party insurance claim is not very different from the one we just discussed. The only disparity lies in the fact that, in this case, you will have to deal with the other person's insurance company instead of your own.
Here are the steps y'all must follow:
1. Notify The Other Person's Insurance Company
As soon as the accident takes place, make sure to get in touch with the other person's insurance company & notify them about the incident.
2. File A Claim With The Other Person's Insurance Company
After you've notified them, the next step is to file an official claim with their insurance company. Make triply sure to include all the pertinent details and documents.
3. Wait For the Other Person's Insurance Company to Investigate the Claim
Once you've filed the claim, the other person's insurance company will start investigating it.
This procedure can take a few weeks or even months, so be patient.
4. Accept or Reject the Other Person's Insurance Company's Offer
After the investigation is complete, the other person's insurance company will make you an offer. You can either accept or reject this offer.
5. Take Legal Action If Necessary
If you're not happy with the other person's insurance company's offer, you can take legal action against them. This is a long & complicated process, so make sure to speak to a lawyer before taking any steps.
The car insurance claims process can undoubtedly be confusing and frustrating, but it doesn't have to be. By following these five steps, you can absolutely ensure that your claim is handled properly and efficiently.
If you're concerned about getting over the trauma of a car accident, here's our blog to help you out.
Auto Insurance Claim Myths - Debunked!
Well, there you have it. You must follow five steps to file a successful auto insurance claim.
But before we wrap things up, let's look at some of the most common myths about auto insurance claims - and dispel them once and for all!
MYTH: Filing an Insurance Claim Will Raise My Rates
FACT: In most cases, your rates will not go up after filing a claim. Your rates may increase if you are found to be at fault for an accident that is unrelated to filing a claim.
MYTH: I Don't Need to File a Claim If the Damage Is Minor
FACT: You should always file a claim after an accident, regardless of the amount of damage. By not filing a claim, you could be violating the terms of your insurance policy.
MYTH: I Can File a Claim Any time After an Accident
FACT: You should file a claim immediately after an accident. If you wait too long, your insurance company may deny your claim.
So, there you have it! Now that you know how to go through the auto insurance claims process, you can rest assured that you're prepared in the event of an accident.
Here's How Gosch Collision Can Help!
Gosch Collision, serving Banning, CA, and the surrounding Riverside County areas, is a full-service auto body shop. We're here to help you through every auto insurance claims process step. We work with all major insurance companies and can help you get your car back on the road as quickly as possible. Contact us today or book an online appointment now.