Accidents can happen to anyone and may be a real drain on your resources. If you have purchased the proper coverage for your vehicle, you should be able to have your vehicle repaired or receive compensation for a replacement without much difficulty. Filing a successful claim is usually a simple process that involves good communication between yourself and your agent or claims representative and can often be completed online.
Things You'll Need
- police report
- Internet access
Review your policy for coverages. You may have purchased comprehensive, collision, liability or a combination of these. Collision may cover accidental damage to your car, comprehensive may cover flood or fire or damage by a falling object, and liability may cover damage to another's property.
Gather all pertinent information. This may include a police report, photos of the damage, information regarding the driver and passenger, estimates of repair and receipts for recent improvements made to your vehicle.
Create a written statement regarding the facts of the accident. This should be done right away because important details can be forgotten as time passes.
Contact your agent or insurance company as soon as possible. Reporting an accident within 24 hours is recommended to insure that your claim is processed smoothly.
Take photos of the damage and the accident location to submit to your carrier.
Get two estimates of repair if your carrier requires you to do so. Your agent or claim representative will tell you if the company has preferred providers.
Arrange for a representative to meet with you to inspect your vehicle's damage. Cooperate fully with all aspects of the accident investigation.
Be prepared to pay all or part of the repair bill, up to your deductible. The deductible, ranging from $250 to $1000 per claim, was disclosed to you when you purchased your policy.
Tips & Warnings
- * If your repairs are almost as much as your deductible, it is better to pay for the repairs yourself, to avoid filing a claim. Multiple claims against your policy could cause the company to increae your premium or cancel your policy at its renewal date. If you discover the claim will not go over the deductible, you may cancel a claim that is in process.
- * In the event you hit a deer or other large animal, a police report should be filed as evidence that this is what caused the damage to your vehicle.
- Failure to report an accident in a timely fashion may result in your claim being denied. Never misrepresent or hide details of a claim-such as who was driving-as this could result in the cancellation of your policy and/or a denial of your claim.
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