how to file a car insurance claim by John K. Zaid & Associates, PLLC

When & How To File an Auto Insurance Claim

If you follow certain steps when filing an auto insurance claim, you can make the process easier, and have issues resolved more quickly.

Determine The Cost of Damages

If your main concern is raising auto insurance rates, carefully consider how much damage has been done in the accident, regardless of who is at fault. If it’s a small amount of damage or an amount that each driver can cover, then it might not even be necessary to contact your auto insurance company.

If the accident is deemed to be the other driver’s fault and/or the other driver is the one who gets a ticket because of the accident, then his or her insurance should have to cover the damages to your vehicle and the incident should not affect your car insurance rates. You will still need to inform your insurance company of the accident and they will contact the other driver, just as the other driver’s insurance company will likely contact you.

If you were at fault or you received the ticket, then your insurance will be expected to cover any damage to the other driver’s vehicle.  If you can pay the costs of repair out of pocket, then there’s also no need to contact your insurance company.

When Your Insurance is Involved

If you’re not sure whether or not to file a claim, give us a call to discuss your case.  Even simple phone inquiries to your insurance company can be added to your record and may affect your rates in the future. Decide first if you want to use your insurance or pay out of pocket, and whether the cost of paying out of pocket is worth keeping your insurance rate down.

Filing a Claim

Here are a few things to get you started if you decide to file a claim.

Witness’ Names & Contact Info

Get as many witnesses’ names and phone numbers as possible that you can supply to your insurance company to help show that the accident wasn’t your fault.

Accident Details

Be sure to record things including the time, place, date, photos of the scene, a copy of the police report, and names, addresses, and insurance information of everyone involved.

Other Important Tips

  • Do not admit or debate fault
  • Anything you say can be used as evidence
  • Make a note of any passengers of all involved vehicles
  • Take photos of all vehicles involved and the location

If your claim is rejected

  • Make sure the insurance company explains the reasons in writing
  • You can always appeal the decision

Being involved in a car accident is a very stressful experience. Having the right legal counsel on your case can make all the difference. Give us a call or send us an email to discuss the details of your case right away.

 

The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only.

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