What is a Car Insurance Claim?

A car insurance claim is a statement to your insurance provider letting them know that you have incurred damage or injury and need financial assistance. Your car insurance is a way of protecting your finances and offering you compensation for a number of expenses incurred during an accident or damage to your car. You need to file a car insurance claim in order for your insurance agency to compensate you for your losses.

Vehicle Insurance Claims

In most states, you will only need to file a claim if you are liable for the accident, if the damage has occurred to your car due to a theft, vandalism, storm or hit or run, or if the other driver has hit your car but does not have adequate insurance. This is known as a tort system. In the states that operate under a no fault system (or limited tort system), you will need to file a claim to your provider regardless of which type of car insurance you have or whether you are found liable for the accident or not.

There are a number of reasons you will need to file a claim and a number of things a claim will pay for, depending on the details of your policy. Full coverage policies will usually pay for medical related expenses, as well as a loss of income, damage to your car and damage to the other’s drivers as well. Basic coverage policies may not pay for the damage to your own car but will pay for damage to the other driver if you are liable. Your policy may also include compensation for towing related costs and rental car expenses if you have chosen to include these options on your policy.

You will need to file a claim if you have sustained serious injury or damage to your car. This may be in the event of a single or multiple car accident, in the event of a theft or vandalism, in the event that you have hit an animal or in the event that your car has been damaged due to water, storms or fire.

Information Needed to File a Claim

A car insurance provider will require detailed information about what has happened when filing a claim. This includes things like where and when the accident or incident took place and the other people involved in the incident as well as their vehicle’s details. If you are in an accident and believe you will need to make a car insurance claim, take some photos of the damage and write down as much information about the accident as possible when it is fresh in your mind. Include information such as the other people’s driver’s license, contact details, insurance providers, car VIN, car license plate, make and model, police officers at the scene and condition of your vehicle.

You do not need to file a claim if you would rather pay for the damage out of your own pocket but for most serious accidents, drivers will prefer to let their insurance pay for it rather than use their own money. This depends on the seriousness of the accident among other things. When you file a claim you can expect your premium to go up. Furthermore, when you file a claim you will need to pay the deductible or excess amount which acts as a ‘fee’ for using your insurance agencies services. The excess will vary anywhere from $50 to $5000 depending on what you agreed on when you bought the insurance policy in the first place. For most drivers however, paying the excess is well worth the financial assistance granted when you make your auto insurance claim.

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