The Process of Filing a Car Insurance Claim

An auto insurance claim is a formal request you make to an insurer after being in a car accident or having your vehicle damaged. It is how you inform your insurance company of an incident and wish to take advantage of your benefits. This is why the global vehicle insurance sector holds importance, with an estimated growth rate of 7.1% CAGR projected for 2032

The journey from the moment a car accident occurs to an insurance settlement may appear hazy, but it all comes down to following a process consisting of several steps. To help you smooth out the filing process, stay cool, contact the police, wait at the site in a safe area, take photographs, and exchange information with the other driver if possible, immediately following the collision. Although automobile accidents can be traumatic, making a car insurance claim should not be.

So, if you’ve been in a car accident, continue reading to learn more about the process of filing an auto insurance claim for a positive outcome.

Contact your insurance broker

It is crucial to inform your insurance broker about the incident regardless of how minor the collision may appear. They will be able to provide guidance on whether your car insurance policy covers the damages and advise you on all further steps. Additionally, your broker might request photographs of the damage or propose an in-person conversation. 

That is why it is important to have a local insurance broker who can guide you through the next steps. For example, if you reside in Toronto, Canada, you should research the local market, find the best Toronto insurance brokers available, and get in touch with them. 

Getting assistance from a broker is a smart move because they can offer guidance on the coverage that best suits your requirements and fits your budget. A local broker is well-informed about all the state regulations, so if you happen to be involved in an accident, having a broker by your side will make it much easier to handle the aftermath.

Talk with witnesses

Write down the names and phone numbers of any potential witnesses of the accident who may have stayed on the site. If your claims adjuster contacts you later, this information will be critical. Remember that not everyone will stop if they notice an accident, and not everyone will stay to offer an account of what happened. However, you may find individuals who witnessed the accident, and their testimony can turn out to be important information for your claim. 

In addition, take note of any cameras, traffic, or store security that may be in the area and may have captured the collision on video. Whether the collision happened on a public roadway or in a residential area, investigate to see whether any private security systems caught the incident.  

Contact the police

Even if the incident appears to be small, obtaining a police record might be advantageous and expedite the claims process. Each area has specific regulations regarding what is deemed a minor accident, and the police report might assist in determining the degree of the losses. Police reports are especially useful if the opposite party is unwilling to cooperate and can assist in confirming the accuracy of the accident statement.

 

If the police are called to the scene, make a note of the officer’s name and badge number, as well as how you may obtain a copy of the police report. If the police do not arrive on the spot, you can still file a report by visiting the police station.

Consult with an insurance adjuster

An insurance adjuster reviews an insurance claim to determine how much an insurer should pay for accident-related damage and injuries. They will analyze the damage written on the claim, interview people involved in the accident, review your documents, and resolve personal injury claims as part of their investigation. If anything is missing, they will notify you but try to prevent unnecessary back-and-forth talks by adding anything you believe they may require when you make your claim.

Once you have spoken with the insurance adjuster and found out how much you are owed, it may be worth getting in contact with a San Bernardino car accident attorney (or a similar attorney in your area), especially if you think that the compensation offer is too low or if you have suffered a serious injury as a consequence of the accident. A reputable attorney will review the details of your case and be able to tell you whether you should pursue a further legal claim in order to receive a just payout for the damage or injury you have suffered.

Final thoughts

The procedure for filing an auto insurance claim varies between insurance providers. That’s why it’s important to contact your insurance broker and discuss your situation with them. They can assist you in better understanding the claims procedure as well as your coverage. It’s also a good idea to talk with witnesses from the accident, report everything to the police, and consult with an insurance adjuster about the payment procedure. All of these will smooth out the entire filing process and help you solve everything faster.