There are around 6 million car accidents a year in the US. While you never want to get into a car accident, it’s always wise to be prepared for one — and that includes knowing how to file insurance claims. If you have car insurance, the claim form is what agents use to assess the situation and determine the dollar amount to be paid for damages. An accident can be an anxious time, but if you follow these directions, you’ll know how to complete a car accident claim form with no problem at all!
In addition to an accident — you may also need to file a claim if your car is:
In this article, we’ll cover what details you need to collect after an accident, how to call your insurance agent, getting multiple copies of a claim form, how to call the police, and meeting with a claims adjuster.
Information to Get Immediately After a Car Accident
- Get the other driver’s insurance details
- Take notes about what happened
It’s also wise to try and write down how the accident happened in your eyes, so you can reference that later when filing a claim.
Call Your Agent
If the damage is significant enough and you’re able, call your insurance agent as soon as you can to let them know you’re going to file a claim. Then, you’ll need to get information from the other drivers involved. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Phone number
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance policy number
- Year, make, model, and license plate number of the cars involved
Call the Police
If you’re going to file a claim, it’s best to have a police report to back it up. Having the authorities at the scene will increase your chances of being reimbursed for damages, and some insurance agents may even require a police report when filing a claim. When obtaining your report, make sure to get multiple copies so you can keep one for your records as well.
Get Copies of the Claim Form
You should get at least three copies of the car accident claim form, one for the police, one for the DMV, and one for your insurance company.
Contact Your Claims Adjuster
In order to verify all information provided to the insurance company, and to get your case resolved, you’ll likely be assigned a claims adjuster. This individual will walk you through the process, review the damages to your car, and assess the situation to determine your payout.
Claim forms will vary by provider, so each case can be different, but the agent will be able to answer any questions you might have about your particular case.
There are five phases you’ll go through with them when filing a claim:
- You’ll get assigned a specific professional from your insurance company to handle the claim.
- You’ll meet with them to discuss the accident and your coverage.
- You’ll evaluate the incident together which may involve having your car inspected and an examination of any reported physical harm.
- You’ll work to resolve the case and begin receiving payouts for damages.
- You’ll close the case entirely.
Filing a claim after a car accident can seem daunting at first but if you follow these steps it will be more manageable. Mark off each task on this checklist to keep track of what you’ve done and what you still need to do.