How do I File a Claim?

Filing a car insurance claim is often necessary in order to be compensated for your loss during a car accident or any other damage to your vehicle. The claims process will vary slightly depending on your insurance provider and whether you live in a state that operates under a no fault or tort system; however, in general you can expect the following when filing a car insurance claim:

Collision and Comprehensive Claims

Drivers will need to file a claim for collision accidents as well as for comprehensive accidents. A collision accident claim occurs when you have succumbed to damage or injury to an accident on the road, including multiple vehicle accidents and single vehicle crashes. Comprehensive claims occur when the damage to your car has occurred off the road, either due to a theft, vandalism to your car or damage to your vehicle due to a storm, fire or flood. Hitting an animal is also usually considered a comprehensive claim.

In any case, when you file a claim or have a claim filed against you, you will need to get in touch with your insurance agency. Keep the phone number in an easy to reach place. Most insurance providers will have a 24/7 assistance number as well as an option to file a claim through their website. You can do either; however, it is probably a better idea to speak to a representative over the phone, especially if you have any questions or concerns about the claims process. If the accident is fairly standard and you are familiar with your car insurance claims process, then you may be happier submitting the details of the accident through their online site. Either way you will be contacted by a representative to help you through the process and get any additional details after you have filed your claim.

The Claims Process

In order to file a claim you will need to have specific and detailed information about what has happened. This includes standard things like the time, date and location of the accident as well as the information of the other people present in the accident or at the scene including their names, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers and insurance providers as well as the details of their vehicles including the license plate, VIN number, make, model and year. All of this information should be listed on their own insurance papers. If any police officers or other enforcement agencies were at the scene, you will need their contact information as well.

When you file a claim you will also need to tell the location of the vehicle now and what condition it is in. If your car is still parked on the side of the road, you insurance may pay to have it towed to a repair shop if you have this type of coverage (breakdown or roadside assist). For a comprehensive claim you may also need to include information about the mileage of your car, details about your car and the savings institute that has financed your vehicle.

When you are faced with a car accident, especially a serious one, it can be a little hard to think straight and you may have trouble acquiring all of this needed information. Before you start the claim process make a list of all the information you have acquired and any missing pieces. Contact the other people in the accident and fill in the blanks. That way you will be able to make your claim in one smooth process. The more information you have about how to file a claim, the more accurate and efficient the process will be and the faster your claim will be processed.

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