What Happens Next After you File an Auto Insurance Claim?
Despite the most modern vehicles and some of the best roads on which to operate them, driving will always be a risky venture. Between speeding, road rage, drunk driving, distracted driving and risk taking, no driver should dare to face the roads without car insurance. Defensive driving surely helps keep accidents down, but even the most careful defensive drivers know they just cannot take the chance of driving without auto insurance. After calling 911 should there be any injuries and notifying the police, your next most important phone call is to your insurance company.
After Notifying the Insurance Company
It is a relief in many ways to notify the car insurance company in the event of an accident if only from the perspective of allowing them to deal with the other parties involved. Some of the most insistent harassment can come from third party relatives who may not even have been involved in the incident. Your contract with the auto insurance company establishes a doctrine of subrogation that enables them to take over rights or remedies when it comes to third parties. If you are ever unsure if you should notify the insurance company then you probably should.
Let the Insurance Company do their Work
A claim representative contacts the claimant for further detailed facts regarding the incident and to produce a written or recorded statement for the file. This may call for an examination conducted under oath. It is the insurance company’s responsibility to interview the other driver or drivers and any witnesses. All this should get started within a day or two of the accident. Typically, you are going through your auto insurance agent but you may have a policy that allows you to contact the company directly. For non-response or issues of unreasonable delays, you are best advised to contact the Department of Insurance.
Expenses, Payments, Disputes
An accident may result in injuries for which you will be required to provide documentation, including medical expenses, lost wages or rental car expenses. Double check your policy to fully understand what is covered and what is excluded. If damage to the vehicle is minor, it may fall on you to obtain competitive repair estimates. In the event of a total loss, the car insurance company surveys dealers and pricing guides among other things to establish a fair market price. When there is a disagreement on the amount of loss, you can demand an appraisal if this is a provision in the policy. This would allow for both parties to establish a competent appraiser to arrive at a fair price by virtue of a binding agreement.
Disclaimer: This is for information purposes only and NOT a recommendation from Mills Insurance. Please contact a licensed insurance agent specialist to discuss insurance coverage’s and laws.
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