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The Auto Insurance Claims Process, Step by Step

The Auto Insurance Claims Process, Step by StepAn auto insurance claim is a request made to an insurance company for compensation for damages sustained after a car accident, or for representation or intervention on the insured’s behalf when they are liable for damages. If you are involved in an accident, you will want to make a claim.

When it comes time to file an auto insurance claim, a lot of people aren’t always in the best head space. Car accidents are incredibly nerve-wracking, and trying to coordinate all of the necessary information and figure out what costs you are responsible for can be stressful on anyone. Rather than waiting until the accident has already happened to try to figure everything out, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with our guide to the claims process now. That way, if an accident ever does happen (though it hopefully won’t), you’ll be ready to go and make the process as short and painless as possible.

1. Contact the Police

After a car accident, contact the police and have an officer take down the details of the accident in the police report. You may be shaken up after an accident and not be in a position to assess what’s happened. If the other party becomes difficult, the police will be there to make sure you’re safe and that emergency service personnel are there to assist with injuries or hazards.

2. Contact Your Insurance Agent

Having your car accident information ready will help you keep track of the information needed to file your claim. Be prepared to provide accident details to your insurer. Call your insurance company from the scene of the accident while waiting for the police or after you are safe. They will walk you through the next steps.

If your car is not drivable, your insurer can advise you on transportation for you and your car. If you have this coverage on your policy, they can arrange for your car to be towed, and get you a rental car. If you do not call them, you won’t know how they can help and you may spend more money than needed. They will then open the claims file.

A claims professional will represent you in any discussions with third parties involved, investigate the circumstances, handle vehicle repairs and rental arrangements, and get the claim settled. That’s what your insurance company is there for!

3. Assess The Damage

A partial loss is when your vehicle retains some value after the accident. However, once your car is in an accident, besides normal expected repairs, you may suffer greater financial loss and be eligible for additional compensation. Therefore, a diminished value claim should be considered, which is affected by your specific situation.

If you are concerned about a total loss (damage exceeds vehicle value), and you have a newer vehicle, ask your adjuster about the gap insurance part of your claim, which would have been purchased initially as part of your policy as an added endorsement. It’s important to know how the total loss is determined and the time frame for settling the claim.

4. Figure Out the Expenses

Once the adjuster concluded research, you’ll know the estimated repair cost, your deductible, and how the claim will proceed.The estimate would normally outline the work to be done. Once you and the adjuster agree, the work can be done and you can get your car back after the repairs. You must allow your insurance agent to assess damage and work on agreed settlements. Never accept, offer, or approve anything until your insurer has reviewed it. Claims can be paid from the comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, or any minimum car insurance requirements.

Car accidents are never fun, but with the right Auto Insurance policy and a helpful agent, you can get through this tough time and get back to your life.

About A.J. Benet Inc. Insurance Agency

At AJ Benet Inc. Insurance Agency, we make sure that your New York Business Insurance policy includes more than the simple general liability and product liability. Our policies extend in cases where you underlying limits are exhausted. Our team of experts are willing to go the extra mile and not only protect your business but understand it. For more information, call us today at (914) 381-2040.

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