How to Write an Insurance Claim

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Before insurance companies made online claim reporting available to insureds, they commonly used what is called Acord forms to write a claim. These forms were standardized throughout the industry and approved by the state for use by all insurance carriers within that state or a particular jurisdiction. Property loss claims information is very similar to automobile information in content, but also includes detailed information regarding the location and type of claim, such as theft, flood, fire or storm damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Insured information, including address and contact numbers
  • Loss information, including the location and description of the accident, which police department was contacted, and if any citations were issued
  • Policy information, including what items or actions are covered and their limits, any loss payees such as where the automobile is financed, and if there is a deductible to be considered
  • Insured vehicle information, including the year, make, model, plate number, VIN number, driver’s information, driver’s relation to the insured, driver’s license number, where the automobile is located now, and any estimates that the insured has received for repairs
  • Description and location of any damaged property
  • Information regarding injured parties and their injuries
  • Witness or passenger information

Responsibilities of the Insured

If an accident occurs, the insured should contact his agent to report the details of the claim. The agent will fill out the Acord form and fax it to the insurance carrier. If the insured is writing the claim online, the same information may be requested. If you choose to phone in your claim, the representative will enter the data into her claim system directly.

Have the damages estimated for the vehicle. This will help to expedite the claim process.

Be prepared to give a written or recorded statement. This is often completed over the phone or a representative may meet with you personally. A scene diagram can also be helpful when determining who is at fault for the accident.

Tips & Warnings

  • Time is of the essence when filing a claim. Important details regarding the accident may be forgotten as time passes or evidence may become damaged, lost or spoiled.

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