No one wants to experience loss or damage to their property. However, if it happens and you have planned ahead, your insurance company will compensate for the damages. Having auto insurance is one thing, but knowing how to file a claim is another. To reduce your frustration in the event of an accident, this article discusses what you need to know ahead about filing an auto insurance claim.
What is an Insurance Claim
An insurance claim is a formal request to an insurance company for reimbursement based on what is covered by the terms of your insurance policy.
Once accepted, the insurance provider investigates the claim for authenticity and pays out to the insured or requesting party (on behalf of the insured).
When to File an Auto Insurance Claim
You can file an auto insurance claim at any time, but the best time is to notify your insurance company as soon as the situation happens.
Your insurance contract should state a stipulated time limit. You must file an auto insurance claim within the allotted time frame to get compensation.
You might want to repair the car out of pocket instead of filing a claim. However, an insurance claim can cover both the third party and yours, depending on your coverage.
What Do You Need to File for an Auto Insurance Claim
You must have up-to-date documentation of your auto insurance plan, well-documented evidence in pictures or video of the accident, and keep in mind the accident details, as you might need to make a report.
Your policy number and other personal information would be required as well as the other driver’s insurance (in the case of an accident with another car).
How to File for an Auto Insurance Claim
Step 1: Gather information at the accident scene
Having evidence makes filing a claim much easier. Take pictures of the damage, and gather contact information of witnesses.
Step 2: Contact your insurance company
As soon as you can before your deadline, find out what your insurance covers, contact your insurer to find out what you would need to make a claim, how long it would take to settle a claim, and supply any other information they need.
Next Steps after filing an Auto Insurance Claim
When you have filed a claim, find out the time frame from when the report was made to when the car would be repaired or damage paid for.
It is important to ask for the procedures and steps to take within this time frame. Act accordingly and be patient. You can get a repair estimate and let your insurance company know if they need you to do the estimate.
You should also file a police report, especially for injuries, stolen items, or when a car is vandalized or stolen itself.
How long should a claim take?
An auto insurance claim should take from a few days to a few weeks at most, except for cases that need investigations. This is why it is best to report and file for a claim between hours of damage to get things done quickly.
What are some common reasons that auto insurance claims can be denied?
- Your policy does not cover the type of damage your car has or the type of events that brought the damage.
- Your policy does not cover the third party.
- You did not notify your insurance company early enough.
After an accident or damage to your car, it is best to contact your insurance company as quickly as possible.
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