Did you know that the average person will file an auto insurance claim for an accident once every 18 years? Every year there are about 10 million accidents, ranging from fender benders to multi car pileups. If you want help processing insurance claims, then there are three main points you should know.
1. Before the Claim
If the accident has already happened, this advice might be too late, but make sure you get contact information, auto insurance information, and exchange license plate numbers. If you have a camera on hand, take photos. Look for witnesses who could tell what they saw happen, and get their contact info as well. Police officers in some jurisdictions will try to avoid writing up an accident report if the damage is $500 or less, but insist on it so that you have an independent record of what occurred.
Get the Claim Running
Contact your insurance company as soon as it is possible, whether or not the other party is at fault. If the other party is at fault, you will probably want to seek reimbursement from their insurance for anything your carrier will not pay. Be meticulous in your documentation of expenses, and do not try to inflate anything. Prepare yourself for a phone call from the other insurance company.
3. Other Claim Issues
Do you need to know about the insurance claims process for lost wages? Not everyone is eligible for this. You are eligible if you carry a personal injury protection policy, or if you are injured due to negligence on the part of the other driver. To file this claim, you will need support in the form of a letter from your employer on company stationary documenting the amount of work you missed, and income you lost, as well as a copy of the original police report. If you have been self employed, you will need to submit past tax return statements instead. Then you can submit your lost wages claim to your insurance company, which you can often do by phone or online.
What has your experience been like when it comes to processing insurance claims? Let us know in the comments!