It can be frustrating and stressful when you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, even a small fender bender. Sometimes, what looks like minimal damage could amount to hundreds or thousands of dollars. This is the purpose of car insurance; to protect a driver from having to pay out large amounts of money for car accidents and claims. Car insurance rates take into account the amount of risk a person and vehicle pose. When you ask about the cheapest car insurance rates available from your insurance company, also ask how they handle a claim and how you should handle a car insurance claim from your end.
If you have been in an accident or have to file a claim because of a car theft or vandalism, or any other peril that is covered under your insurance policy, the first thing you should do is take stock of the area. Check if there are any injuries and call 911 if medical assistance is needed. Once you make sure that everyone involved is taken care of, you should collect all relevant information from all parties. Write down the name, address, and vehicle information for everyone. This information will also be entered into a police report, should they be required to attend the scene. Make sure that you provide your insurance company with a copy of this report.
Next, you should immediately contact your insurance company and file a claim. Your insurance company will ask you exactly what happened and document your conversation. They will arrange for a claims adjuster to take a look at your vehicle and also advise you to obtain a few estimates at approved body shops. If you have any questions about your claim, the adjuster is the best person to contact.
You should always provide your insurance company with all documentation that relates to the claim. This includes any receipts, invoice, or charges for medical treatments that you require if you have suffered an injury. They will not reimburse you for any expenses if you cannot provide this information.
The insurance company may opt to repair the vehicle or they may deem it a total loss. In this case, they will issue you a check for what they believe the vehicle is worth. If you have any questions or issues with their decision, you should bring these up before finalizing your claim. Your car insurance rates may be affected by your claim, depending on the situation and if you are found to be responsible for the accident. If this is the case, you may have to wait several years before you again have the cheapest car insurance rates.