How to File a Car Insurance Claim

1.

Remember that auto insurance laws have made it mandatory for all drivers to inform his or her insurance company immediately after being involved in a car accident. If you are driving the car that was involved in an accident, make sure you contact the insurance provider immediately.

2.

Ask your insurance agent or the insurance company what documents are needed to file a claim. You will have to tell them the time and place of the accident, name and address of the drivers or witnesses and they may request a photo of the damaged vehicle. You can also submit a copy of the police report if you have it.

3.

Find out from your agent about the time frame for submitting all these documents and how soon the claim will be settled. Usually, this is done within a week or so.

4.

Cooperate with your insurance company with regard to any damage and reimbursement assessment.

5.

Confirm from your insurance policy the type of coverage you have. If you have collision or comprehensive coverage, the insurance company will pay the claim regardless of who was at fault. Liability coverage will only cover claims against you by others in case you are at fault.

Tips and Warnings

  • Every state has different laws governing the claims process. If you have purchased insurance from one state and the accident takes place in another, call your agent to clarify any doubt.
  • If you have any complaint against your insurance company, contact the Division of Insurance (DOI). You should be able to get contact information from the blue pages in the phone directory. If you aren't satisfied with the results the next step might require the use of an attorney.