Accidents happen—that’s why you have insurance. But what do you do when the accident happens to you?
If you need to go through the car insurance claim process, but don’t know where to start? Here’s what you need to do to collect your check.
Step 1: Collect Information
Everything about the car insurance claim process will go smoother if you deal with the accident the right way.
If your claim is the result of an accident with another vehicle, you need to:
Seek immediate medical treatment if someone is injured
Call the police
Get all the relevant personal and insurance information from the driver
Avoid admitting fault
Calling emergency services is essential for safety and legal reasons. However, they are also crucial from an insurance perspective. A police report is necessary when you file for a claim because it provides an unbiased version of events.
Information in the police report will include information like:
Date and time of the accident
Location of the crash
Weather and road conditions
Speed and direction of all vehicles involved
Police department information
Detailed accounts of the crash (including witnesses)
Other driver’s information
You should also do your best to get photos of the accident, if it is safe. If it is not safe and you must move your cars to the side of the road, be sure to take pictures once you are out of harms way.
To have a speedy claim process, it is best if you can collect contact information from the other drivers. Even the most cool-headed person can be rattled after an accident. Rather than writing down insurance information, use your phone to take a picture of insurance cards of other drivers. Complete and correct information is at the heart of a speedy claims process.
Step 2: Call Your Insurance Agent
Call us! If you need to make an auto insurance claim, we want to help.
We know your policy inside and out. With our expert knowledge and your information, you can put together a seamless claim to submit to your insurance company. We’ll also let you know what you can expect in terms of coverage and your deductible.
We are here to help you through your claim process and get you your check faster.
Step 3: Make the Claim
The claims process differs according to the insurer, but in most cases, it starts with calling us. We will collect the information from you and submit the claim on your behalf. However, there are some companies that require you to speak directly to them. We will let you know when you call us.
Make sure to call the claims number rather than the payments or customer service number to get through right away.
Keep all your notes in front of you when you call and make sure you provide accurate and complete information. Errors or indiscretions can cause delays and investigations.
Remember your insurer prefers to recover as much of the damage as possible from the other driver’s policy. If they get conflicting information, it can cause trouble.
Step 4: Pick your Repair Shop
Who is going to repair your vehicle? It is true insurance companies have repair shops they want you to use. These repair shops have been vetted by the insurance company and have agreed to certain standards and repair times. This can be to your advantage for quick turnaround or even a lifetime warranty on the repairs. However, you have the right to choose who does your repairs. Y
Step 5: Make Sure You Use Your Policy Benefits
Your insurance policy may come with benefits that help you get back on the road with a rental. Your policy might cover things like free towing and roadside repairs. Make sure you ask!
Step 6: Settle the Claim
Your insurance company will handle the claim in one of two ways. It will either reimburse you for the costs incurred, or it will pay the repair shop directly. The outcome depends on your insurer, the policy, and the damage involved.
Because Indiana is a fault state, your deductible hangs in the balance.
If you were determined at fault, you will be responsible for your deductible. If the other party was at fault, the insurance company will be responsible for all the repairs with no expense to you.
In an ideal world, the responsible insurance company will pay the costs for all people involved in the accident. If you have difficulty getting response from them, we can file the claim on your policy to get your repairs complete.
However, you will have to pay your deductible up front. Then, your insurance company will go to the other company for reimbursement, including your deductible. This process is called subrogation.
Call Us for Help with the Car Insurance Claim Process
The car insurance claim process doesn’t need to be as traumatic as the accident itself. After all, you have two superpowers: accurate accident information and your ISU insurance agent.
You can move from claim to settlement in little to no time by working carefully and providing as much detailed information as possible to your insurance adjuster.
Do you have questions about your policy or filing a claim? Contact us with all your insurance questions.
About Richie Buchanan
Richie Buchanan is owner of ISU Insurance and Investment Group.
"Our clients have the security knowing they are paying the RIGHT price for the RIGHT insurance coverage.
You will be confident that you made the RIGHT decisions for your insurance policies."
Richie is married to Susan and is the father of Jackson (4) and Evie (2).