We’ve talked about the importance of calling your insurance company to file a claim after an accident, but there is a lot that goes into the actual filing that can be overwhelming. Since knowing what to expect in the aftermath is half the battle of overcoming a car accident, here’s a basic rundown on what happens after you connect with your insurance company. Consider this a crash course (pun absolutely intended) in claims.
● Introduction. When you call the insurance company, you will be connected with a claims adjuster who will represent your claim. Write their name down, and ask for their extension in case you need to contact them directly.
● Common questions. From here, they will likely ask you a few basic questions:
○ Your full name and policy number
○ The start date of your policy and end date (they will likely be able to pull this information for you if you cannot find it)
○ Date of the incident and approximate time (another reason to call directly after the accident)
○ Basic information (names and phone numbers) of drivers, passengers, and witnesses, if available.
○ Driver’s license and license plate numbers for all drivers involved in the accident.
● Explaining the incident. In order to set up a complete claim, the claims adjuster will likely ask you to give an account of what happened during the accident. Be as thorough as possible during this conversation, as it will help to erase any gray areas that may come into play during the approval process. You will especially want to recount the following:
○ Weather conditions before the accident and at the time of impact
○ Time of day or night the incident occurred
○ If you are the victim of the accident (not at fault), be sure to let the claims adjuster know if you noticed the driver at fault practicing unsafe driving habits before the impact, such as talking on the phone without a hands-free device, texting, swerving between lanes, tailgating, etc.
○ If you are experiencing any soreness or suspect any injuries will arise as the result of the accident
● Evaluating the damage. Once your claims adjuster gathers all of the necessary information from your accident, they will direct you to have your car evaluated at a collision shop. This is when you can tell them where you plan to take your vehicle for an estimate and any necessary work. (We work with all major insurance companies for collision repair.)
○ If your car is safe to drive, you may drive it to our shop yourself. If not, be sure to ask your claims adjuster whether or not they plan to cover your towing services. (We have towing services available for your convenience after a crash. Just give us a call to have one sent your way!)
○ Your claims adjuster may advise temporary fixes while you are waiting for your vehicle to be repaired. While we don’t typically recommend doing this, it is important to keep any and all receipts from items you purchase for these temporary repairs. DO NOT make any permanent repairs without the approval of your insurance agency!
○ Once we get your vehicle to our shop, we will take necessary photos for the insurance agency and perform a thorough inspection for any and all damages, including damage done to the frame of your vehicle. From here, we take over with the insurance agency for you, ensuring all necessary steps are taken in order to get your professional repair work approved.
● Case closed. Once we complete our 10-step repair process, we will close out the case with your insurance company and help you fill out any and all paperwork that is required for payment (whether paid by you or covered through insurance). At the close of your case, we will explain the repairs that have been made and you will be able to drive off happily with our written lifetime warranty on all repairs.
Have questions? Give us a call!