The Dos and Don’ts of Filing a Car Insurance Claim
Getting into a car accident is an unpleasant experience that no one wants to face.
Even the safest drivers who have been driving for many decades can get into accidents.
While it is the last thing you’d want for yourself, the best thing you can do is to be prepared in advance and make sure you are insured.
Having to claim a car insurance can be stressful and it’s best to know exactly what to do beforehand so you can avoid stress when the time to claim your insurance comes.
What is car insurance and what does it cover?
Car insurance is what protects you and covers damage to your vehicle or someone else’s in case of an unfortunate accident.
Car insurance not only covers damage to vehicles but also covers medical bills in case you or your fellow passengers were hit by a driver without insurance. Each insurance has a varying limit that is decided by you and your insurer.
The process to claim your insurance is a lengthy one so it’s a good idea to know all the car insurance claims one of which is the Cheapest car insurance in Illinois.
The Do’s of claiming your Car Insurance
Here are all the do’s of claiming your car insurance
Contact the Police
Do contact the police and call them to the scene. In case of a car accident that results in heavy damage, injury, or death, you are legally obligated to immediately report it to authorities.
When the police arrive, let them know in detail about everything leading up to the car accident. While you can take pictures and gather statements yourself, calling the police will help in creating an official scene report in case of heavy damage.
Also, take pictures and videos of all the injuries and damages. The accident scene will likely be cleaned up so you must capture everything. Include pictures of the property in case any has been damaged.
All of this will come in handy during the time of reimbursement.
Call your insurance company
The best advice we could give you is to call your insurance agent as soon as possible to tell them about the accident. Also, make sure to read your insurance policy thoroughly to fully understand all the things that it covers and all the things it doesn’t.
You must be aware of everything beforehand to avoid any confusion. This will also help you understand the full benefits of your policy and help you claim the maximum return from it.
Also, be completely honest about the incident with your insurance company so they can truly help you. If your claim is detected as dishonest then not only will you lose the chance of getting your claim but it will also spoil your track record with the insurance company.
The aftermath of an accident is often messy and stressful. It might be hard to keep track of all the expenses you have to pay out of your pocket.
However, a lot of these can be claimed under your insurance policy when you file for it. Keep a record of all the receipts that are related to your accident. This can include things such as:
- Medical Bills
- Repair for damage to your car
- Lost pay for leave from work
Collect as much information as you can while you still can so you don’t run into problems later. Take the other drivers’ information including contact info, insurance information, and vehicle information including license number.
The Don’ts of claiming your Car Insurance
Here are some don’ts related to claiming your insurance
Say that you’re fine
It’s hard to determine the full extent of your injuries right after the accident so avoid saying you’re okay as this will only harm your ability to claim insurance on your medical bills.
In the same vein, don’t put off going to the doctor and getting your injuries checked out.
Submit any written statements with your insurance company
Make sure to fully review your insurance claim and only then submit any information. This applies to both written and recorded statements. Make sure to fully understand your obligation to give a written or recorded statement (or not) before doing so.
Your insurance company can also not force you to record a telephone conversation with you until you agree to do so.
Make sure to get all your questions answered by an attorney if you are confused about any aspect of this.
Making on-the-spot settlements
Chances are, a third party might offer you the spot-settlements.
More often than not, this is a low amount that is nowhere near the maximum amount you could claim or enough to cover the cost of all the damages.
It is a better idea to have an in-depth conversation about this after analyzing the full cost of all the damages and knowing the full potential of the claim.
Also, don’t sign any waivers until after your settlement.
It is a bad idea to accept fault on your own. Chances are, even if you think it’s your fault, you could be wrong. Deciding who is at fault in a situation like this is complex and includes looking at many different factors.
Leave the investigation up to the police and other authorities. If you admit fault right away, even if you were not at fault, you will not get the proper compensation when you file your claim.
Accidents are often messy and for the people that were involved in them, the events are even hazier to remember. Chances that if you had an accident, you don’t correctly recall what happened or who did what. So it’s a good idea to not speculate.
When you’re asked questions then only answer with facts. Don’t add any extra information that is not necessary or could be used against you.
Claiming your insurance is usually a stressful process but if you follow through with all the guidelines and do things properly then you can easily benefit and get back the cost of damages. Follow the claim process as instructed and there is a good chance your claim will be settled.