How to File a Car Insurance Claim Report
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If your car is damaged or you’re involved in an accident, you’ll need to file a car insurance claim.
Getting in an accident is a scary situation, and it can be easy to forget everything that needs to be taken care of. When your adrenaline is running high following a car crash, the last thing on your mind is how to properly file a car insurance claim.
Of course, the most important thing to do if you’re in an accident is make sure that everyone is okay. A car insurance claim can wait, but a serious injury cannot. If you or anyone else involved in the accident is in any danger, call 911 immediately.
Serious injury or not, all accidents and damages ultimately need auto insurance claim reports. Read on to find out everything you need to know about filing a claim.
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What to keep track of to file a car insurance claim
When your car has been damaged, you need to record as much information as you can ASAP. The information will help you file a claim later.
The most important things to write down are:
- The exact location at which the damage occurred
- The time at which the damage occurred, if you were in the car
- How the damage occurred (if you know)
- How severe the damage is
- Any and all expenses that you have paid for, such as towing services, as you will often be reimbursed for them by your insurance company.
Keeping track of this information ensures that you provide your insurance company with accurate information when filing a claim. It also makes the process go a lot quicker. Before filing, there’s a few other pieces of information you should have on hand:
- The police report, if there was one
- Insurance information from other vehicles involved in the accident, if there were any
- The name and address of your preferred auto shop
How to file a car insurance claim
Once you’ve recorded all of the necessary information, it’s time to file a claim. Here’s a step-by-step process for filing the claim:
- Call your insurance company or your specific insurance agent
- Tell them you need to file a claim
- Briefly explain to them what happened
- Provide them with any information that you have as they ask for it
- Follow all of their instructions, and answer all of their questions. If you don’t have answers to certain questions, or you’re not sure of the answers, simply let them know. Never lie, guess, or make information up when filing a car insurance claim.
After you’ve filed a claim, your insurance company will let you know what the next steps are. There will usually be a handful of follow-up phone calls where you’ll have to give your detailed information to a claims agent.
It’s also very common for an agent or claims adjuster to come and inspect the vehicle to both assess the damage and repair costs and to make sure that your description is accurate. Simply pay attention to what the insurance company tells you and you’ll be well on your way to getting your car back on the road, courtesy of your auto insurance.
Does filing a claim raise your car insurance?
It depends. Generally, filing a claim raises your car insurance. However, minor claims may not result in raised premiums, and you probably won’t see rates go up if you’re not at-fault in an accident.
Is it worth filing a car insurance claim?
Filing a car insurance claim may not always be worth it. If you’re expecting your rates to go up or you have to pay a large deductible for a certain repair, you need to evaluate if it’s cost-effective to file a claim.
For example, let’s say you accidentally bump into someone, and you need your bumper to get replaced. If the repair costs $600 and you have to pay a $500 dollar deductible, your car insurance is only paying for the remaining $100. Your rates will go up since it was an at-fault accident, so you will end up spending more money in the long run by filing a claim than if you just payed for the repair out-of-pocket.
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