Auto Casualty Insurance: Secure Yourself A Speedy Claim

If you're involved in an automobile accident, you will probably need to submit a claim to your auto casualty insurance company. Being involved in an automobile accident is never an enjoyable experience, and filing a claim with your auto insurance company can make the experience even less pleasant. However, submitting a claim is not as difficult as you might think; in fact, here are a few steps that will get you started:

What You'll Need

•Police report
•Witness information
•Driver information (of the other car)
•Passenger information

Step One - Report the Accident Immediately

You should contact your insurance company as soon as possible, and before you leave the scene of the accident. When calling the insurance agency make sure to inform them of the accident location, the name and phone number of the other driver involved, as well as the names and contact information of any passengers in your vehicle. In the event of a hit-and-run accident, supply the insurance company with as much relevant information as possible: car description, license plate number, etc…

If you have not done so, your insurance company will probably instruct you to call the police. Once the police arrive, hang up the phone with the insurance company and answer all questions that the officer may have honestly, and try not to leave anything out.

Step Two - Find out How to Proceed

When it is possible to do so again, call your insurance company and asked the representative what steps you need to take next. Ask them what claim forms, documentation or other evidence they may need to speed the processing of your claim. Most of the time, your insurance company will require a proof of loss form, as well as any medical bills or automotive repair bills. In addition they will require a copy of the police report and any other documents relating to your claim.

In order to speed the processing of your claim, ask the insurance company representative if it is allowable that you scan all of the requested documents and e-mail them directly to the claims adjuster. Keep in mind, however, that even if the insurance company does allow you to scan and e-mail the relevant documents to them that they will probably still require that the originals be forwarded. If your insurance company will not accept scanned copies of the documents, you might want to consider sending the documents via Express Mail or FedEx.

Step Three - Read Your Policy

Once you have submitted all your documents to the insurance company, take the time to read your auto insurance policy as carefully as possible. Though much of the language and the policy may be difficult to understand, the period immediately following a car accident is a good time to review it. Knowing exactly what your policy will, and will not, cover can help you avoid frustrating and unpleasant surprises later.

Step Four - Keep Records of Your Expenses

Many times your car insurance company will pay the car mechanic, hospital or other service provider directly; however, there may be times that you are required to pay these expenses first. Then, your insurance company will reimburse you. Either way, you should make sure that you keep all receipts and documents that are related to these expenses. Be sure to keep medical and hospital bills, car repair bills, rental car statements and notes regarding lost wages. Make sure to keep these in a safe location.

Step Five - Remember Your Other Insurance

Keep in mind that other types of insurance you may have (e.g. health insurance, homeowners insurance, etc…) may also cover certain losses and expenses related to your accident. For example, if you had personal belongings in the car (at the time of the accident) that were destroyed or damaged, your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover them.
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