Are you going to file a car insurance claim? Accidents happen every single day and when it comes time to file a claim, you should know what needs to be done. Filing a claim does not need to be a difficult process, but you should be organized and prepared to do what is necessary. There are a few steps that can be taken before you actually file your claim. Most people do not know everything that needs to be done when it comes time to deal with their claim, so be sure to read some of the tips that are highlighted below to help you with the process. Auto insurance claims do not need to be a nightmare or fear-inducing – you’ve just got to know how to deal with them and know what to expect from your insurance company.
Determine the Penalties to your Insurance Policy
The first thing that you should always do before you file your claim is read about the possible penalties that may be assigned to your insurance policy. There are a wide variety of penalties that could affect your claim such as non-renewal penalties and/or penalties for cancellation. All of this information needs proper verification by the individual that is going to file a claim before they continue with the process. After you have checked out all of the possible penalties that you may need to deal with in the event of a car insurance claim, you will need to know whether your rate is going to be increased.
Was the Car Insurance Claim your Fault?
The way to figure out whether your car insurance rates will be subject to change is to ask yourself whether the claim that is being filed was your fault. People that are found to be at-fault are going to be viewed as carrying more risk by their insurance company and are going to be charged more. Some people think that they can simply switch car insurance companies right after filing a claim so that they can get out of a rate increase, but it is really not that simple. Most companies that you would consider switching to would conduct a background check on you and would likely find out about you leaving a company right after the claim that you filed – your rate would probably not be much different from the company in which you had to file a claim that was your fault.
If the claim happened to be your fault, then deal with it in a mature manner, and do not overreact when your insurance company notifies you of a rate increase. Some people get really uptight about their insurance policy costing more after a claim that was their fault, but this will always happen; just move forward and keep trying your best to be a safer driver. If the accident was not your fault, then obviously your car insurance rates will not increase. Many people have what is called “accident forgiveness” which can really help when you are not at fault. There are many times when claims need to be filed when you are not involved in an accident. Something could happen that causes damage to your vehicle that is clearly not your fault; you still may be required to file a claim in this case.
Types of Car Insurance Claims
First party car insurance claim payments
People that are involved in the cause of an accident and have insurance that covers them for the costs of collision will not usually need to worry about paying for repairs; their insurance company will take care of it. All that you really need to do is keep paying your deductible and your insurance will take care of the rest. Whenever a first party claim is made, your insurance company is going to be required to pay the individual that is settling for their losses; this of course needs to be done within the insurance laws of your particular location – different states may have slightly different legal ramifications. In first party car insurance claims, when you need to get your car fixed after an accident at a body shop, your insurance company will need to compensate you for the repair bill since this is covered by your insurance policy.
There are differences among insurers as well – some insurers are going to make sure that their customer is getting the cheapest or best price on their repairs. Some companies may also do an independent assessment of the damage and may only be willing to reimburse you for the amount of money that they think you should get. In most cases, insurance companies will let an auto mechanic or professional assess the damages and decide how much money it would cost to make all of the repairs to your vehicle that are necessary.
Third party car insurance claim payments
Third party auto insurance claims are usually filed when another individual (third party) inflicts damage upon your vehicle. In this case, their insurance company is generally going to be responsible for making payments to you in order to fix your vehicle. These types of claims are easy to deal with because you are not enforced by their insurance company. After the claim is filed, it is the other person’s responsibility to work with their insurance company to pay you for the damages that they caused.
These types of claims can get complicated, especially in cases of physical or psychological damage resulting from the accident. Although most insurance companies plan on paying for damage caused to the vehicle that was damaged, they do not always plan on paying a third party for their medical bills and psychological counseling bills due to trauma from the accident. The more that a person’s insurance company has to pay out for insurance to cover for damages, the more that their risk is going to increase. When risk increases, they can expect to be paying more in the future for their coverage. In third party claims, the insurance company pays the person that who was not at fault directly for all of the damages that they had to deal with.
What happens to the claim process when leasing a car?
When a person leases a car, this makes car insurance claims much more complicated than they normally would be. Since the lease-holder is the rightful owner of the vehicle, they will also be required to receive a check in the event of damage to the vehicle. There will be multiple payments made in the event of a first party car insurance claim when you are leasing. Most of the time, you will need to discuss and/or review the terms of your lease with the company from which you leased it to make sure that you are not subject to further charges in the event of an accident.
Many times the company that leased you the car will thoroughly assess your vehicle for damages to make sure that they are going to be fairly compensated for the damages that were caused to their vehicle; since they are the rightful owners, they are going to do this most of the time. It is in your best interest to cooperate with them and communicate with them the best that you can. They will usually need to agree upon the amount of money that a check is issued for so that they can be sure that they are not getting ripped off. If your vehicle is totaled, your insurer may decide to handle things a bit differently, but it all depends on your insurance company and the type of policy that you have. If you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, you may get everything covered, if not and the accident was your fault, this may cause your insurance price to increase significantly.
When you understand the various types of car insurance claims that can be made, it helps make the process of filing a claim easier and less scary. If you have never filed a claim before and want to know how to handle it if an accident ever happens, you can always schedule a meeting with your insurance company and ask them all of the questions you have about the way that they handle claims. Usually the claims process is discussed in the contract you’ve signed or policy that you are signed up for, but most people do not fully understand it. Always ask questions that you have about your policy when you have them.
Filing a Car Insurance Claim and Non-Renewal vs. Cancellation
Whenever you are involved in a claim and have held an insurance policy with a certain auto insurer for the minimum amount of time (as specified in your contract), your insurance company cannot simply cancel your policy. Many times when they think that a particular client is too risky to keep insuring, they will decide upon “non-renewal” when their policy term has expired. This is not the same thing as cancellation – which would immediately terminate your policy if they were able to do this. If an insurer decides not to renew your policy, this means that you will need to look for a new provider when your contract expires with your current insurance company.
Recap of How Car Insurance Claims Work
Whenever a person files a claim, they need to submit the necessary paperwork for their claim. Since most claims are paid out within 30 days of their filing, they need to be submitted quickly after an accident. When they are submitted, the individual that submits the claim needs to have contact information from each of the drivers involved in the accident, as well as driver’s license information, and they need to know the details of the accident. Additionally, they may need license plate numbers, vehicle descriptions, damage descriptions, as well as need to identify any key witnesses involved in the accident. These claims reports are usually very detail-oriented and that’s to make sure that all of the information is correct.
Once all of the information has been submitted, most people send it to a claims specialist to make sure that it was properly filed. You will likely receive a claim number within 24 hours of filing your particular claim. After it has been filed and you have received a claim number, your claim will be investigated by professionals to make sure that the party at fault is held accountable for their damages. There may be video footage, police reports, and possibly pictures that were taken of the accident. Witnesses may be contacted for verification of the description of the claim. In the event of a severe accident, this process may take longer than average because there are more things to take into account.
When all of the information is sorted out and the claims specialist is able to verify the description, the payments will come next. Whichever party is held liable for most of the damages will be responsible for making payments. If they have car insurance, their insurance company will make the payments that cover for vehicle damage, medical damage, etc. After terms are agreed upon and the victim is properly compensated for their losses, the claim will be closed and everything will be officially settled without future follow-ups.
Auto Insurance Claims need not be Confusing
Most of the time, settling a car insurance claim does not need to be a complicated process. People that have filed claims know that although they can be somewhat stressful, a time comes when they will eventually be settled. If you didn’t previously know how to handle a claim, it is hoped that you got some benefit from reading this article and will be able to understand the process that claims go through as well as how different types of claims are dealt with by insurers. In a best case scenario, you will never have to file a claim throughout your lifetime. Most people end up having to file a claim at some point in their lives and most people are able to handle the process. You will have some additional knowledge about the process since you read through the information in this article and will know how to help other people cope with claims if you have any friends or family members dealing with them.