Per the National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA), America records an average of six million car crashes every year, meaning auto insurance claims are relatively common in the U.S. If you’re ever involved in a car crash, filing a car insurance claim can be a stressful process, especially if you do not know what to expect from your insurer. Here is what to expect during a car insurance claim process.
The Insurer Will Need a Report of the Accident
Your insurer will ask you to provide them with all of the documentation that relates to the accident. Therefore, get a copy of the police accident report that was completed by the officer that responded to the crash site. You should also provide your insurer with any pictures you have of the accident scene, including clear pictures of your car and any other vehicle involved in the accident. If you have witness statements, be sure to provide them as well. Providing your insurer with information about the accident will help accelerate the claims process.
Expect a Policy Review
After filing a claim, your insurer will review your policy to know what it covers. This includes any additional coverage that you have. When talking to your insurer, ask questions about your deductible to know how much you will have to pay out of your pocket.
Expect a Claim Investigation and Damage Evaluation
The insurance company may want to investigate the accident, especially if the claim involves multiple vehicles. An insurance adjuster will locate and talk to the parties involved to determine liability. They will also get estimates and look at the repair shop options available. After the investigation and evaluation, the adjuster will provide you with an estimate of the repair costs or compensation.
Expect Auto Repair/Replacement
If your claim is valid, the insurance company will then proceed to repair or replace your vehicle. The insurance company will give you a list of shops to choose from, and once you select a shop, the claims representative will guide you through the repair process. If the car is a total loss and you have comprehensive coverage, your insurer will pay you the car’s value minus the deductible.
Expect to Use a Rental Vehicle
If you are not able to use your car immediately, you may need to rent a car. If you have rental reimbursement coverage, which is usually part of comprehensive coverage, your insurer can help you rent a car. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), only 78% of drivers have comprehensive coverage. If you do not have this type of coverage, your insurer will not cover the costs of a car rental.
When filing a car insurance claim, you should expect the things discussed in this article. If you have any questions about your car insurance coverage or want to learn more about auto insurance, CF&P Insurance Brokers is always willing to talk to you. Call us at (925) 956-7700.