While finding the cheapest car insurance quotes is important, knowing what to do in the event of an accident is also important. The step-by-step process of a typical car insurance claim can be a very difficult process to navigate at various stages, and many people do not even understand the process.
The claim process begins at the accident. You must do everything right at the accident in order to have a successful car insurance claim. This includes calling the police or emergency services if people are hurt. It also means you have to exchange auto insurance information with the other driver. If you see any witnesses you should take their contact information as well.
During this process, fault is going to be determined unless you live in a no-fault state. In a no-fault state, so long as both parties have insurance, there is no assumption of fault. Your insurance company deals with you, the other driver's insurance company deals with him. In states where fault is an issue, however, the difference between being at fault and not being at fault can have a huge impact on your pocketbook.
Next, you need to contact your insurance company right away. You can usually file the claim over the phone. It's very important to do so because if you don't file fast enough you will hold up the whole process. In some states, the insurance company doesn't have to pay if you wait too long. File the claim with your own carrier whether you are at fault or not. If you're not at fault, you should also inform the other carrier that you are pursuing the claim, or have your insurance agent do it. Usually the other insurance company has to cover anything your insurance company doesn't cover in this instance.
The amount your insurance company won't pay becomes the other driver's responsibility if he doesn't have insurance, and it usually takes either a collection agency or a lawsuit to procure it.
Finally, you meet up with an insurance adjuster. He will make an estimation of the damage of your car. The insurance company will then cut you a check for that amount minus whatever your deductible is, and then the other insurance company will cut you a check for the deductible. Alternatively, you can go to an insurance approved auto-shop to repair the car and they will deal directly with the shop.
By understanding the entire process of filing a claim, you will be knowledgeable about what services to expect from your insurance company. When searching for the cheapest car insurance quotes, be sure to keep all these facts in mind.