No matter how safe you drive, sometimes car accidents are unavoidable. Getting in a car accident can be an unfortunate and stressful situation, but knowing what information you need and understanding how your auto insurance coverage works can help make the process go smoothly. Here are six steps to help you file a car insurance claim.
6 Steps to Filing a Car Insurance Claim
Be Prepared with the Following Information
It’s critical to keep your proof of car insurance, emergency contacts and medical information with you while driving in case of an accident. Your proof of auto insurance is essential and provides a contact number for your car insurance company’s claims department and your auto insurance policy number.
Check for Damages and Injuries
Before you do anything, make sure everyone involved is okay. If it is safe to do so, move your car to a safer location. If it’s unsafe to move, turn on your hazards to warn other drivers.
While you’re at the site of the accident, document everything you can. Take pictures of the damage on your car and the other cars involved. Ask witnesses for contact information in case there is a disagreement about the sequence of events between drivers.
Exchange Information with the Drivers Involved
- Name and contact information of all parties
- Driver’s license numbers
- Insurance company information
- License plate numbers and registration for other cars
- Make and model of all involved vehicles
- Location of where the accident occurred as well as time of day, weather, and road conditions
File a Police Report
Having a police report is strong evidence to support your claim and will give you a better chance at getting compensation.
Contact Your Car Insurance Agent
You’ll want to find out the following things from your agent as soon as you can:
- Time limitations for filing your claim
- Time limitations for resolving claim disputes
- If you need estimates for damages
- If your policy covers a rental car while your car is being repaired
Get a Estimate from a Insurance Adjuster
After contacting your agent, your auto insurance company will typically send an insurance adjuster to document damage and investigate the losses. The adjuster will determine who was at fault and provide an initial estimate of how much repairs will cost.
Will making an auto insurance claim raise your rates?
Whether it’s a high dollar claim and/or you’re at fault, you could potentially see increases to your car insurance rate. How much your premium increases can vary between companies, but the increase generally affects premiums for three years following the claim.
Let SelectQuote Find the Best Car Insurance For You
When it comes to car insurance, it’s important to make sure you’re finding the best car insurance available to you from a carrier you can rely on. We’ll take the time to learn about your car and lifestyle, ensuring you have an auto insurance policy that is right for you at a price that works for your budget.