Cars are expensive, car accidents even more! Road accidents are always unpredictable and happen when you least expect it. While road accidents occur in an instant, the after-effects are usually long term. They involve tending to your wounds and those of your beloved car. From fixing a minor fender bender to replacing entire parts or even whole cars (in more massive accidents resulting in a total loss), car accidents are unfortunately very expensive! This is where the importance of having valid car insurance comes into effect. Having insurances offer secondary protection similar to how airbags and seatbelts provide. While airbags and seatbelts offer physical protection, car insurance companies provide their customers with financial assistance. So how exactly do you claim car insurance? What are the different options a customer has to raise such an auto insurance claim? Most importantly, when should you file an auto insurance claim? These are age-old questions that car drivers have been pondering over for a while now. It’s high time that some of these most asked queries related to claiming car insurance get answered for good!
Can I drive without car insurance coverage?
No. However, residents of both New Hampshire and Virginia can drive without car insurance coverage. These are the only two states where a mandatory car insurance policy is not legally required for driving on public roads. All the remaining 48 states mandate valid car insurance policies that act as proof for demonstrating financial responsibility for any liabilities or damages caused in the event of a car accident.
I have car insurance, and I met with a car accident – what next?
Car accidents are never pretty, especially when the accident is more than just a minor fender bender. Stay calm and considering getting a medical checkup before thinking about anything else first. Once you are sure everything’s all right, the first you should be doing is calling the police and reporting the accident. There are two reasons why you should always inform the police first.
- Insurance claims require a report. As you would probably not be in the best position to prepare a report after the accident, it would be best to get it done by an officer instead. As they deal with such scenarios regularly, police officers would also have a better idea about how the report should be prepared.
- Car accidents usually have another party involved. It could be anyone from another driver who was at the wrong place at the wrong time, to property owners, or even pedestrians. Tempers and adrenaline usually skyrocket after panic situations like car accidents. The other party in this unfortunate situation could get aggressive and react with violence. Having police officers around ensures your safety and well-being. They can also coordinate with other emergency services like Fire and Rescue Services or Medical Services as required.
Should I call the insurance company after preparing the report?
Yes, the sooner, the better. Once you have come out of your shock, the first thing you should be doing is analyzing the damages that have been inflicted on your car. Once that’s been taken care of, it is decision time. Not all car accidents require you to file a claim. It’s always best to save claiming insurances for more significant damages and to fix fender benders from your own pockets. Claiming car insurance reduces your premium amount. If you meet with an even bigger expensive, you would probably end up shelling more money from your pocket in such a scenario. If you feel that the damage is too high and you need to claim insurance, then go ahead and give a call to your insurance agent at the soonest.
Who is an adjuster, and what is the remaining process of claiming auto insurance?
Once you call your insurance agent and file the accident report, you would get in touch with a claims specialist, often referred to as an adjuster. The adjuster mediates between you and the mechanic who gets your car fixed after the accident. You still have full authority on who should fix your car, what parts need replacement, and even the choice of opting for stock replacement parts or aftermarket ones. Once the estimate is fixed, the adjuster will update you on whether the insurance premium can cover the repairs. After coming to a mutual conclusion where you and the adjuster agree, the claim can be forwarded to the insurance company, who will then approve or decline your claim request. Please note that you may have to pay from your pockets if the damages are too extensive and surpass the maximum insurance premium rate.
I am not happy with the car insurance company!
If you are not satisfied with how the car insurance company you are contracted to deals with your claim request, take action now! You can either opt to break their contract and invest in another car insurance company or contact your state’s commissioner for guidance on how to handle the situation. Websites like way.com offer numerous options for you to choose from for car care services, including car insurance and car wash services. You can also hire a lawyer and consider going for a legal suit if they fail to fulfill the insurance contract’s promises.