We buy our dream car after a lot of thinking, analyzing, and comparing. We make a smart decision by choosing the right insurance. Although no one hopes to get into a situation wherein they have to make the claim, what if, one day, you have to?
What if you get into a fender-bender, and you don’t know the proper steps to insurance claims?
Here’s how you can deal with it.
Reporting the Incident
As soon as you step out of the vehicle, you must make sure if everyone involved in the accident is safe. If there has been a personal injury, you should report it to the police.
When it comes to informing the insurance company, it should be done within 24 hours of the accident.
Things to keep in mind-
- Don’t delay informing the insurance company.
- When you make a claim, you should have enough evidence.
- Make sure to take photos of the damaged vehicle and the area.
- Information about the witnesses, if any.
- The other driver’s details like his license plate, etc.
You should have the policy documents in place. Make sure you have a written file ready about the details of the incident.
The Insurance Claim Process
Before going ahead and submitting the collected documents, you should call your insurance company and cross-check the list of requirements with them.
Companies will start the process only after they have received all the necessary information. Once you have all the documents in place, the Insurance Company will begin the investigation. Sometimes, it requires a medical report about which the company will inform you beforehand.
After filing the documents, the company will investigate and decide if your claim will be accepted or rejected.
Consult an attorney
Knowing what will happen after you have made your claim depends on a lot of factors. Even the value estimation done by your insurance company may not sound satisfactory.
That is why it is advisable to have an attorney by your side during these kinds of trials. Most car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee. You pay them only when you receive your claim amount. Your attorney will advise you better and help you negotiate your terms.
Company’s Decision on Your Claim
If your claim gets approved, the company will calculate the compensation. After that, they will issue a settlement cheque, accordingly.
Disappointing as it may sound, your Insurance Company might reject the claim stating reasons like delay in the submission of documents or a missing file, incomplete information, and sometimes the absence of a medical record.
In this scenario, you should not give up your claim. Take advice from your attorney, and if the company still does not come to mutual terms, you can always file a lawsuit. Some of the cases may end with a settlement, while some might go to trial.
Also, 4 Things That You Must Not Be Doing After a Car Accident
Apart from all the right things that you must do to get an insurance claim, to ensure that you are in the best legal and financial position, there’s a few things that you must avoid doing.
In the following section, we are mentioning those things.
1. Fleeing Away
In all certainty, this can be the worst move ever to take after an accident.
Even if you are at fault and may have to face legal consequences, it would be best for you to face them, instead of fleeing away from the site of the accident.
And why do we say so?
Well, the law strictly asks anyone involved in an accident to stay at the site. No matter how small or big the issue is, by running away from the site you will be inviting a heavy penalty.
2. Not Informing The Police
Filing the FIR right after the accident is your first duty. So, make sure that you do it. Regardless of the damage, an FIR must be filed.
3. Losing Your Temper
Mostly when we get angry, we get away from our sanest frame of mind. And in the new state that we have just entered may not allow us to think and act rationally.
For your own good, it’d be best to avoid doing or saying anything in the fit of anger.
It’s a legal case. Everything that you say or do can be used against you.
4. Not Documenting The Accident
It’s crucial to document down the accident. This will help you with the police case and while claiming your insurance amount as well.
Accidents can take place anywhere, anytime. It is our responsibility to be safe and keep others safe. But when the situation demands, we should have the necessary information about our policies and a legal advisor by our side to guide us through the process, and with success. Thoroughly read the policy document to avoid any confusion in the future.
Interesting related article: “What is Insurance?”