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Filing Auto Insurance Claims: How to Deal with the Hassle Involved

filing auto insurance claims how to deal with the hassle involvedNo one likes filing auto insurance claims because of the hassle involved. However, if you follow these simple steps, you can avoid wasting your precious time.

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One of the most difficult times during your life involves an automobile accident. Not only are you visibly shaken, but you also have to file a claim to get your car fixed. If the collision is serious, you may need time away from work. You may also require a rental car as temporary transportation. This can add to your stress level.

When these problems occur, you will probably wish you were a kid again. The worry-free lifestyle of a 12-year old can look very appealing at this moment. Unfortunately, you cannot revert to your childhood, it is best that you move forward in a responsible manner.

This means settling your nerves and gathering the proper documentation. Hopefully, you exchanged personal information with the other driver or drivers. This ensures that your personal car insurance company can reach them if they have questions.

Under standard situations, they contact the other driver’s car insurance company directly.

There are only a few times, like during a blatant at-fault violation, when your auto insurance provider will reach out to the driver of the other vehicle.

They may need a verbal statement to correspond with their written claim. If their car insurance company seeks an arbitration settlement, they may also contact the driver.

Choose Your Auto Insurance Company Wisely

During the claims process, you do not want to find out how poor the customer service department operates. This is why you need to investigate and make proper selections when shopping for car insurance.

The Illinois Department of Insurance lists four ways to ensure your company has a good reputation. If you follow these guidelines, you should find the best one at a comparable rate.

  • filing automobile insurance claims and how to deal with the hassle involvedValidate the license – Unbelievably, there are auto insurance companies who do not have a valid license. Each company must comply with the state requirements where they plan to sell or write insurance policies.
  • Confirm their history – The history of the car insurance company you choose should be long-standing within the community and industry. They should have a minimum of 25 years of experience.
  • Check the number of complaints – The number of complaints is subjective. It is difficult to say how many are acceptable or border on atrocious. However, you can review the types of complaints by visiting the Better Business Bureau.
  • You can also try a state-based consumer advocate department, like the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Some find it easier to go directly to their own state for guidance. Every state one to choose and the information is public knowledge.
  • Verify their finances – Using rating companies like Standard and Poor’s or A.M. Best, you can find out if the company has strong roots in the financial sector. Your main concern is stability. You must make sure they will not file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and leave you at your time of need.

Review Your Policy and Coverage Levels Frequently

You need to know what you have when you file an auto insurance claim. It is highly unlikely that they will approve your request for repairs if you only have liability protection.

You need to understand the difference between collision and comprehensive coverage.

You signed this contract, which means you selected these levels. You have an obligation to protect yourself and receive proper compensation. You achieve this task by understanding the damage and relying on your choices to take care of the problem.

Review everything in full and if necessary, seek legal advice. Do not file your claim unless you understand your rights and everything you are entitled to receive. You may make grave errors that no one will reverse.

Make Sure You Actually Need to File the Claim

filing automobile insurance claims how to deal with the hassle involvedThe type of accident determines whether you actually need to file a claim or not. Suppose you ran into a grocery cart and bent your front fender, you may not want to report this. Perhaps you parked your vehicle in an area where vehicle theft is rampant and someone stole your property inside. This may be worth filing a claim.

Maybe a tree fell and scratched the roof. However, upon further inspection you notice only a few superficial scratches. You need to think carefully before you file an auto insurance claim. You can stand to lose much more than you gain.

Good examples of your losses include any discounts you have for safe driving. You also have a deductible responsibility. If the amount of the damage is nowhere close to your deductible, you might consider paying for the costs yourself. One final thought concerns your current policy and renewal time.

If you file a claim and your car insurance company approves the payout, they can always drop you at the end of your agreement period.

They do not have to keep you as a customer or offer a renewal.

Now, on top of the hassle of the claim, you need to start looking for a new provider. If the issue is not extremely serious, take a day or two to think it over. Do not allow more than 48 hours to pass, but just make sure you make the right decision.

Tell the Truth

Be honest and direct during the entire ordeal. This begins when the police officer appears on the scene. If you know you are the cause, admit it. Many car insurance companies and even some experts state you should never admit fault at the scene of an accident. They believe you should leave the fault assessment to the claims adjuster.

filing auto insurance claims and how to deal with the hassle involvedHowever, omitting facts like you are at fault only delays the claims process. Furthermore, you may appear dishonest to your auto insurance company. This is essential when filing a claim. They expect you to provide them with as much information as possible. Regardless of the level of embarrassment or fear of increasing rates, you should always do what is right.

In addition to slowing down your claim results, you may receive charges for fraud once the truth comes out. The claims adjusters are experts in these matters. They know how to arrive at an outcome. If they suspect lying, they may pursue other avenues.

There are just too many instances of auto insurance fraud occurring each year. Almost every state in the nation, including New York State has laws to protect consumers and the auto insurance industry. Make sure you do not fall into this category and just be straightforward.

Get Familiar with an Auto Accident Worksheet

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation recommends every driver have an understanding of this worksheet. Your auto insurance adjuster uses this type of document to help re-enact the collision.

This gives them a better understanding of the underlying fault. Of course, fault in an accident is extremely important. The insurance adjuster needs to determine the events leading up to the collision. This includes the geographical location of both or all vehicles involved.

filing an automobile insurance claim how to deal with the hassle involvedThey also use the police report for an approximate time, which is just as vital. Remember, the car insurance industry deals with risks. It is safe to say that the odds of becoming involved in an accident are highest during heavy traffic.

Driving during morning and evening rush hour can be an extremely stressful time.

Therefore, if you want to ensure that your claim goes smoothly, you should have knowledge in this area. It can help you avoid asking simple questions that pertain to the progress of your claim. If you know how the adjuster arrives at certain conclusions, you are much better off.

Delays in your claim means your life remains interrupted. Make sure you have enough knowledge to understand which questions are important and which ones you can avoid.

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Document Everything

This includes all of your telephone calls and any email correspondence. You also need to include any quotes for your estimates. Take down names of everyone you speak with and record the date and time.

filing an auto insurance claim how to deal with the hassle involvedIt is better for you to have one pad for everything. This will help you organize better. You should also prepare for questions from the opposing auto insurance company. They can contact you and ask questions regarding your claim.

If you do not have a copy of the claim in front of you, try to speak briefly and ask them to call you at a better time. You do not have an obligation to speak with them immediately.

Many people also forget that they can take pictures with their cellular phones. Virtually everyone has this option so exercise yours. Remember the old saying a picture is worth a thousand words. Your photos can tell the story much better than a verbal statement.

You can also submit everything online and retain the originals. This will definitely help with your claim. They may eliminate certain steps based solely on the photos, so make sure you take plenty and from different angles.

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