It is important to know how the claims process works before you are involved in a car accident. Once the accident happens, you will want to know exactly what to do and your mind is going to be occupied with other things. The good news is that claims process is a simple one and most minor claims can be resolved in a couple of weeks or less.
Collect Information – If injuries are involved, call 911 immediately. Exchange driver and insurance information with the other person or persons. Look around the scene for possible witnesses, or business security cameras that may have captured the accident. Assess the visible property damage and call the police. While you wait for the police to arrive, get the names and contact information of any witnesses.
Call the Insurance Company – Call your insurance company and report the accident. Many insurance providers have mobile appraisers that can be at your location within minutes, others will advise you on how to proceed to expedite the claims process. Get a copy of the police report. If your policy includes rental car reimbursement and your car is not drivable, call the rental company and ask whether a car can be delivered to your location. If your policy includes free towing, call the company specified by your insurer and have your car moved to a repair center.
Estimates and Repair – Get the necessary estimates for repairing your car, and have the work performed. Depending on your insurance company, minor claims can be settled by the appraiser on the spot, or through a check that is mailed within the period specified in your policy. Do not be afraid to contact your insurance company every day if you feel things are not moving along as quickly as youâ€™d like. Avoid becoming a nuisance, but make it plain that you are being inconvenienced and that you are eager to put the incident behind you.