If you're involved in an accident, knowing what to do next can save you a lot of trouble. As disturbing as an accident may be, after ensuring the safety of everyone involved, there's another major aspect you have to deal with - your car insurance claim! Effective communication with insurance providers is essential to getting your claim settled successfully.
Want to know how you can get the most out of your insurance claim?
The do's of car insurance claims
Report the accident
If you've just met with an accident, the first thing to do is contact the police and report the accident. Once the police have inspected the accident scene and the vehicles involved, a red or green paper is given to both drivers consisting of a summary of the accident and contact information of drivers. Keep in mind that a police report is a mandatory requirement for filing an insurance claim.
Contact your insurance provider
When you get into an accident and have informed the police, the next most important step is to forward this information to your insurance provider immediately. To successfully process your claim, the insurance provider will require all the details of the accident. It's advisable to get in touch with the insurance company as early as you can and provide the necessary documents, to ensure fast and smooth processing of your claim.
Capture the damage on camera
To support your insurance claim, take a few pictures of the accident scene, your vehicle or any other bodily injury. It will act as additional evidence if required at any point.
Examine your insurance policy
Just to get a heads-up and to be able to claim the appropriate settlement amount, it is advisable to go back and review your policy once more. It will give you an idea about what is covered and what is excluded in your policy. Understanding your policy terms will also help you in negotiations with the insurance agent, during the final settlement.
The don'ts of car insurance claims
Don't make any assumptions
If you get into an accident, don't jump to a final conclusion that you were the one responsible. Provide accurate information to the police and do not assume anything. The police considers all different conditions and scenarios when accidents occur, and will evaluate the situation accordingly, which may just work in your favor.
Don't accept the initial claim settlement
Insurance companies will try and offer you the least payout amount possible against your claim. If you have reviewed your policy properly and are convinced that your claim is worth a lot more, then you have a legal right to renegotiate your claim settlement.
Don't sign documents you know nothing about
After all claims are processed and you have been asked to sign on a document that you are not sure of, don't sign without thoroughly reading it. Get complete information about the document and do not forget to go through the fine print. If you ignore this, you may end up paying out of your pocket for repair damages.
Don't delay approaching the insurance company
Be wary of delaying the claim process, because you are required to file a claim within a certain period or else it may be considered void. Also, after the claim is submitted do not ignore or miss any calls and meeting with agents. Timely submission of your claim and diligent follow-up will help you in getting the most out of your claim.