A 2016 report by the CDC revealed that car crashes killed approximately 96 Americans a day. It also found that car accidents send over 2.3 million people to the hospital every year.
Any medical problem arising from a car crash could cost you a fortune for years to come. If you are in a car crash, read on to discover the most crucial steps you need to take to file your car insurance claim and get paid quickly.
Car Insurance Claim Basics
You’ll need to know the car insurance basics before you consider filing your claim.
The insurance business is no fun. But the more facts and documentation you have prepared before you talk to insurance people, the better for you.
So that’s step one. Take a lot of notes, a lot of pictures, and begin a file where you will keep a record of all of the facts of your car crash.
When you’ve just been in a car accident, it’s easy to get frazzled, forget things, or make fuzzy choices because you aren’t thinking clearly. Even minor accidents can leave you very confused.
Safety is the first thing on your mind. Do not move anybody that has been injured.
Check both vehicles to determine injuries and then call emergency services for help. An emergency service or 9-1-1 dispatcher can help you determine if police need to be dispatched as well.
A car accident lawyer is a good idea as far as a first step or phone call if you are ever confused at the scene of a car crash.
Do not make any apologies to anybody at the scene or take responsibility for the accident until you have all of the facts. It is also recommended that you do not mention to any party how much insurance you might have.
You’re required to exchange information, but you only need the insurance company name and contact information.
The Insurance Information Institute says, call your car insurance company right away. Some car insurance companies even have a mobile app now that will allow you to begin the process electronically right away.
Don’t file a claim just yet until you have all of the facts.
When You Do Call Your Insurance Company
You will probably be itching to call your insurance company as soon as possible, especially if you need a rental car. Before you do, be sure you have a list of questions for them.
You want to know what exactly you will be covered for, and the cost of your deductible before you hear anything else. There are ways to determine the answers to your most burning question, “Does your car insurance cover everything?”
The deductible is the amount you agreed to pay first before you ask the insurance company for any money. You determined this amount when you signed up for the policy.
You also want to know how much time you have to file a claim. There is usually a deadline, and this will vary by insurance company.
A car accident claim is essentially a report you will file to ask the insurance company to compensate you for damages. This is why we buy car insurance.
Call Your Car Insurance Company Early
You determined what you would be covered for when you got the policy, but you may not remember the specifics after you’ve been in an accident. You may be covered for everything including medical and replacement vehicles, or you may be covered for the replacement cost of a screw because that’s how much your car has depreciated since you bought it.
Most people want to call their car insurance company right away. One big reason for that is that you get peace of mind as soon as possible.
You want to know this is only going to be a temporary financial problem and you’ll be back on your feet in no time. So before you call them, you want to have as much information at your fingertips as possible.
But it helps you and your insurance company if you call early. The claim process will get started early, and, you may find 0ut you are covered for something like a tow service.
Understanding Claims Adjusters
You may have heard the term “underwriters” or “claims adjusters.” The two occupations have very similar jobs – saving money for the insurance company yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
The underwriter determines what kind of insurance you qualify for. The claims adjusters do just that, adjust claims.
You tell the insurance company you need a certain amount, and claims adjusters…adjust that. They will do fact checking like checking in with a mechanic to see if your car really is a write-off.
They will also meet with you and may go to see the car after it is towed.
But they will also help you out with those details such as getting your car towed to begin with, and arranging a rental car if your current insurance covers it.
They will have a lot of questions for you, and are obligated to answer as many of your questions as possible. So don’t be afraid to speak up or ask your questions.
Having a car accident lawyers can be helpful at this stage.
Just remember that your car insurance company has entered into a contract with you as well, and their job is to protect you. Their job is also to represent you in many instances.
But things can get dicey in a car accident situation, and insurance companies always want to save money.
So having a car accident lawyer may be your best bet in the event of any kind of car accident. You’ll have a lot of questions and worries, and the more people you have on your side, the better.
Stay in Control
A recent study found that Michigan was one of the most expensive states for car insurance, and Vermont was one of the least expensive.
Every state is different when it comes to car insurance requirements and minimums, and everything else related to car ownership and maintenance. And every car crash is costly.
But one thing every state has in common is that insurance is a requirement because car accidents cost America billions of dollars a year. And if you aren’t at fault in a life-changing crash, you are entitled to costs.
And sometimes you are still entitled even if you were at fault, that is what insurance is for.
When it happens to you, there’s very little you are actually in control of. But you can control your risk assessment in advance by knowing how to take control of a car insurance claim from beginning to end. Learn the 5 major mistakes of not buying car insurance and let us help you start saving money and decreasing your risks today.