When you are in a car accident it is time to put your car insurance provider to work. This is why you pay your premium every year. During the claims process you will most likely need to speak to your insurance agent. The first step in filing a claim is reporting the accident to your insurance agent.
Car Insurance Agents and Claim Representatives
The official role of the insurance agent will vary from company to company. In some instances your agent will only be responsible for selling you a policy and thus will refer you to a different part of the company to handle your claims process. You will most likely deal with a claims representative during this process rather than your agent. In other smaller companies your agent may also act as your claims representative and will do the initial paperwork to submit to the claims office. Either way, your initial contact will be to your agent.
Most insurance agencies require their customers to notify them of an accident within seven to ten days (unless, of course, you are unconscious or unable to). When you make a claim you will speak to a claims representative or your agent about what has happened. You will need to provide a large amount of information for the total actual cash vehicle value claim to be approved which includes things like your policy number, your make, model and registration of your vehicle as well as the VIN and license plate number, your phone number and address and the details of the accident.
During the scene of the accident try to get as much information as possible about what has happened. This includes the names and contact details of the other drivers as well as the police officers at the scene. You will also need to supply the date, time and location of the accident as well as who was involved, any witnesses to the incident and the damage of the accident. If you can, take some photos of the crash which can help with the adjustment down the road. Make sure you also get the insurance information of the other drivers including their policy numbers. You will most likely be contacted by their claims representative as well.
The Claims Process
After you have reported the accident and filed your claim through an agent the work is not done. Your claim will go into the system and you will be contacted by a claims' adjuster assigned to your case. He/she will most likely have several more questions for you and you may need to meet with him or speak to him on the phone about your accident. You may need to sign a sworn statement in support of your claim before the claim will be processed.
The claims adjuster will determine how much you are eligible for according to your policy. He will answer any questions or concerns you have about the compensation. It is important, as the policy holder, that you also review your policy to understand what exactly you are entitled to and what is excluded from the policy.
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be confusing and terrifying; your insurance agent, claims representative and claims adjuster know this. They are trained professionals that want to help you; however, you need to be sure that you are actually on a policy that is right for your needs. To make your life a lot easier if the time comes that you need to speak to your agent making a claim, compare your car insurance options and purchase the right amount of coverage ahead of time.