5 Steps to File a Car Insurance Claim

A car accident can be a traumatic experience for anyone involved, but knowing the steps to take when filing a car insurance claim can make the experience a bit easier to manage. Here are five crucial steps to take if you’re involved in an accident and need to file an insurance claim.

Document the Incident

At the scene of the accident, take photos of your vehicle, the surrounding area like traffic lights, signs, and the road that show where the incident took place, and any damage to surrounding property, including signs, poles, and other vehicles. Make sure to also get the contact and insurance information of other drivers involved in the incident. If your accident is too severe and you are not able to do this yourself, contact the police department that processed the incident to get copies of the evidence for insurance and legal purposes.

File a Police Report

At the scene, you may be able to file a police report with the responding officers. If you aren’t able to file a report at the scene, go to the police department where the incident took place to file a report. Bring any evidence you have with you.

Contact Your Insurance Company or Agent

Call your agent directly or call the company to report the incident and begin the claims process. You should do this after collecting the evidence as your insurance company is likely to ask you for the following information:

  • Which vehicle on the policy was involved.
  • Who was driving.
  • Where and when the incident occurred.
  • A description of the incident and the damage.
  • The contact information and insurance of any other drivers involved.
  • The names and contact information of any passengers or witnesses.
  • The police report number.

While speaking with the agent, make sure to get the name and contact information of the person you’re speaking with for future reference. 

Meet With an Insurance Adjuster

After reporting the incident with your insurance, you may need to meet with an adjuster. They will inspect the vehicle, or they may have you take your vehicle to a certified repair shop for inspection. They may also ask you questions about the incident. Typically, your conversation with the adjuster is recorded and used to better determine who was at fault. Have the photographs and relevant contact information available as the adjuster may want to see this evidence, too.

If you are planning to file a personal injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company, you should also contact an attorney before meeting with the adjuster. 

Get the Report From the Adjuster

The adjuster takes the evidence, inspection, and interviews to determine the payout amount. The report should include how much you’re entitled to and when you can expect payment.

It’s important to note that the processing time and steps for a car insurance claim can vary depending on the type of incident. For example, if you’re in an incident that doesn’t involve another driver, you won’t need to collect another driver’s car insurance information and contact, which means less evidence to collect and potentially less time spent on that step.

When you need an attorney with personal injury or insurance expertise, contact Cokinos Law to guide you through the claims process and get you the compensation you need to recover.