How Do Auto Insurance Claims Work? Everything You Need To Know

When you get into an accident, your first instinct might be to call your insurance provider. This is why having auto insurance is helpful for any driver. Not only does it provide peace of mind, but it also helps avoid unnecessary delays and confusion when filing your claim.

But when you do, how does the insurance claims process work? What are some tips for having a smooth and speedy experience overall? 

Our insurance agents will explain it all in this post!

1. Reporting Your Claim

After an accident, the first step should be to call the police and file a report. Contact your insurance company immediately if you are not injured but have been involved in an accident with another vehicle or pedestrian.

If you are injured and require medical treatment, take care of yourself until it’s time for treatment to begin.

2. Gathering Evidence

Gather as much evidence as you can. This includes getting a police report. Depending on where you live, this may be easier or harder than it sounds. 

You’ll also want to take photos of your car and the accident before anything else happens. The more detailed these are, the better for your case later on down the road when dealing with insurance providers.

You should also gather information about any witnesses who were present at the scene. This includes their names and contact information. If anyone ever asks about what happened during an accident investigation process, these people can be subpoenaed and testify under oath about what they saw or heard from others.

3. Estimating The Damage

Once you’ve filed your claim, the insurance provider will send an appraiser to assess the damage. The appraiser will inspect it thoroughly and take photos of your vehicle. They’ll also talk to the witnesses involved.

This can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on how long your car’s parts or bodywork can be repaired or replaced.

A calculator sitting on an auto insurance claim paperwork

4. Repair Or Replace Your Vehicle

The insurance company will take care of things for you after you’ve filed your claim. They’ll ensure that your car is repaired or replaced, depending on how badly it was damaged in the wreck. 

If they determine that your vehicle is a total loss which means there’s no way to put it back together, then they’ll pay out what’s left of its value minus their deductible.

If the car isn’t destroyed by accident and therefore has some value, it may still be able to pay out more than just what’s left of its original cost. But only if they think they can do so without running afoul of state laws or regulations regarding auto insurance claims.

Insurance Companies Will Use The Insurance Claims Process To Decide Whether To Pay Your Claim And How Much To Pay You

The insurance company will investigate the details of your accident. They will look at:

  • What happened?
  • Who was involved in the accident?
  • Where did it happen? 

This information can help them determine who was at fault and whether they should pay you for damages caused by another driver’s negligence.

The Coverage You Should Go For If You’re A Highly Accident-Prone Person

Liability insurance is the most common type of car insurance. It covers damage you do to other people, their property, and your legal expenses if you’re sued.

If someone gets hurt in an accident caused by you while carrying out their job on a work-related trip, they may sue you for compensation over damages caused by their negligence or sometimes even criminal acts.

A broken car hidden in the bushes

Other Coverages Types

Knowing other coverage types is important so you can make the most out of your insurance claim after an accident. Here are a few of them:

  1. Comprehensive coverage: It usually covers physical damage to your car or truck and losses due to flood or hail storms. 
  2. Collision coverage: This one pays for damage to your vehicle in an accident.
  3. Personal injury protection: This type of car insurance coverage provides medical expenses, lost wages and rehabilitation services, and other benefits for bodily injury or death caused by an accident when you are in control of the vehicle at the time of impact.
  4. Underinsured motorist: This covers costs when someone who doesn’t have enough insurance hits you. Underinsured motorist coverage is optional, but you can purchase it in addition to liability and collision coverage. You may also want to buy underinsured motorist protection if your policy has a high deductible.

Optional Coverage

You can get additional coverage to protect your car from damage that may result from an accident. Some of the optional coverage available includes:

  • Towing coverage: This will reimburse you for the cost of towing the car away from a scene where it was damaged or destroyed.
  • Rental car insurance: If your vehicle is involved in an accident and cannot be driven away safely, it will cover any expenses associated with renting another vehicle until yours returns from its repairs.
  • Gap insurance: It pays out when one party pays more than their share due to lost wages while waiting for compensation. While not required by law, gap protection helps prevent headaches caused by unpaid bills later down the road.

Insurance Claim Is A Bet

When you purchase car insurance, you’re betting against the house. The insurance company is betting that you won’t get into an accident, or if you do, they’ll be able to pay out on your claim.

This means that when someone gets into a car accident and causes damage to other people’s property like their own car, it’s not just the driver who pays up. It’s everyone else at fault as well! 

For example, if your neighbor hits another driver who crashes into yours, both drivers have insurance claims against each other. 

In short, you’re taking part in an elaborate game of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” where all contestants play for high stakes money prizes; only one person can win 1 million dollars.

An insurance agent holding a black folder

Are You Ready To Invest In Your Safety And Get Auto Insurance In Springfield?

Western Mass Auto Insurance is a leading insurance provider in Springfield. In addition to auto insurance, we also provide home insurance and commercial vehicle insurance.

Our insurance advisors have years of experience and a track record of exceptional customer service. They can help you evaluate your financial situation and develop an auto insurance plan that’s beneficial for you in the long run. 

We offer registry services as well, so you won’t have to stand in line for long. Through them, you can get insurance and license plates in 15 minutes. Take a look at our customer reviews to learn about our premium auto insurance policies.