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Auto Insurance Claims: How to Prepare Your Claims Properly

Updated: November 14, 2018

Even if someone has a very good auto insurance policy, it is meaningless if they do not file their claims properly.

The “after car accident process” is hugely important in determining the amount of money an insured individual will receive.

Companies will not make it easy to make car insurance claims, which is why car owners must know the process inside out.

The auto insurance claim process is complicated, but taking the necessary steps after an accident makes everything a lot simpler.

By acting in a calm and rational manner after an accident, or a hit-and-run event, drivers ensure that they will get compensation.

What is Auto Insurance?

The first thing that everyone needs to know is the very purpose of auto insurance. This can avoid a lot of confusion when you get into a car accident. Surprisingly, a lot of people behave in a manner post-accident that reflects their lack of knowledge about auto insurance in general.

Getting compensation for damage to your vehicle from an accident that was your fault is a little more complicated.

Insured individuals must remember that the basic premise of auto insurance is to guarantee protection for people on the road who are involved in accidents that are not their fault.

This is why many states have certain legal minimum levels of coverage that everyone must get.

If someone makes a mistake and that results in an accident, it is important to remain calm. Running or driving away from the scene is NEVER the right answer. In a vast majority of cases, your auto insurance policy covers the damages sustained by the other person or their vehicle.

Getting compensation for damage to your vehicle from an accident that was your fault is a little more complicated, and the next steps depend a lot of the type of policy the driver bought.

Knowing the Types of Coverage in Your Policy

We have now established that proper auto insurance policies will include a certain minimum level of coverage, or liability insurance, that protects drivers that get into an accident that was not their fault. But can you get compensation for damage to your vehicle when you cause the crash?

If you do not have collision coverage, and you are the reason an accident happened, there is no way to receive insurance compensation for the crash.

The answer depends on how much coverage is in your policy. This is why car owners must regularly check their coverage levels every six to twelve months.

Make sure that you have a certain level of collision coverage with your policy. This type of insurance will pay out to you if your car gets damage from an accident you caused.

If you do not have collision coverage, and you are the reason an accident happened, there is no way to receive insurance compensation for the crash. The car damage expenses are paid from your own pocket.

If a policyholder wants medical or personal injury protection, no matter who caused the accident, they must have PIP added to their policy. Personal injury protection, or PIP, covers medical expenses for all passengers in the car.

What is the After Accident Process for Car Insurance?

As soon as an accident happens, it is important to remain calm and try to step out of the vehicle. Check yourself for any serious injuries, and do the same for everyone in your car. If you are not sure about the condition of the other car’s passengers, check on them too.

For serious accidents, do not leave the scene until the police arrive and clears everyone to leave.

Instead of shouting at the other person about who caused the accident, go up to them calmly and ask them for their insurance information. Give them your insurance card as well. By exchanging information, the parties involved can let the insurance companies determine who was at fault.

If someone is injured, call 911 and ask for an ambulance. If it not a time-sensitive injury, or the driver is not hurt, you can also drive to the nearest hospital after exchanging info with the other party in the accident.

For serious accidents, do not leave the scene until the police arrive and clears everyone to leave.

Departing before receiving police clearance may cause them to think you are trying to run away without taking responsibility.

How to Claim Insurance on Car Accident?

Do not forget to take pictures of your vehicle after the accident. If you caused the crash and there is damage to the other car, take pictures of their vehicle too. This can help in case they try to make a claim against your insurance company for compensation unrelated to that accident.

By having a detailed account, you can ensure that your side of events is presented to the relevant insurance companies.

After the immediate events surrounding the accident, it is time to go home and reflect on what happened. When you get home, call your insurance company and tell them about the accident. They can get started on any necessary claims process right away.

It is also a good idea to sit down and write up your version of events relating to the accident. Do not leave out any details or try to misrepresent what happened, because there were probably witnesses who saw the crash.

By having a detailed account, you can ensure that your side of events is presented to the relevant insurance companies.

Submit all the relevant documents to your insurance company and follow up with them after a few days about the progress of the auto insurance claim.

Auto Insurance Claims Settlement

It is important to remember that the insurance company you are dealing with depends on who caused the accident.

Sometimes there are differences between what you feel you deserve in compensation and what the insurance company is offering.

If it is determined that you were responsible for the accident, the majority of your correspondence is with your insurance company. However, accidents that are not the driver’s fault result in them having to contact the other individual’s insurance company for car damage and medical expenses compensation.

Sometimes there are differences between what you feel you deserve in compensation and what the insurance company is offering.

If this dispute happens because you mistakenly thought something was covered by your policy, but it was not covered, then you are out of luck. You will simply have to add that element to your policy for future accidents, but pay out of pocket right now.

However, cases where the insurance company is refusing to pay compensation that you are owed through the insurance contract may require settlement in or out of court. If this is happening to you, it may be necessary to get an attorney.