Reporting a Car Accident with Your Insurance Provider
Imagine going through traffic early in the morning. There’s a very important meeting that you need to attend to. So off you go in your car. With your hands on the wheel, you step on the pedal and sped on the thoroughfare.
You’re eyes are focused on the road, mindful of every movement the nearby vehicles made. You look before you make turn or change lanes. Everything went smoothly as always. In a couple of minutes, you’d reach your destination.
Then suddenly, bang! Another vehicle rammed through your car. That was a strong one, you thought to yourself. After checking for injuries, you stepped out of the vehicle and checked the damage. What a big damage, it was.
Car accidents are stressful. They are very inconvenient and costly, not to mention potential life-threatening too. And with car accidents come the prospect of filing insurance claims. So it’s another inconvenience to deal with.
Reporting the car accident to your insurance provider doesn’t have to be a struggle. In this article, we’ll provide tips to help you address this concern.
Q. Am I required to file a report to my insurance provider?
Yes, you need to report to your insurance provider in cases of first-party insurance claims.
However, if the other driver was at fault, you may file a report to his/her insurance provider. In this instance, this is called a third-party insurance claim.
Q. What do I need to do when filing a claim with my insurance company?
First thing you need to do is to notify the insurance provider concerned regarding the car accident.
In first-party insurance claims, you will need to inform your insurance provider, giving it the details of the accident.
On the other hand, contact the other driver’s insurance company in cases of third-party insurance claims. For this purpose, request for his/her insurance information.
Q. Do I need to give a general description of what happened?
Yes. For this reason, obtaining a police report is useful. The insurance company may also request for a car inspection to estimate the extent of the damage. A claims adjuster will also determine how much indemnity to award for the damages incurred.
In all instances, check with the insurance provider as to the time limit for filing a claim to avoid adverse consequences, which may negate your claim.
Q. What shall I disclose to the insurance company?
It is crucial that you provide the insurance provider with accurate information as to the events surrounding the car accident. Stick to the facts when disclosing key details. Exaggerating your narration may make it seem unbelievable, if not ridiculous; thus, adversely affecting your chances of obtaining indemnity.
Be prepared with supporting documents. As mentioned, a police report is a must-have. Also, when reporting your injury, make sure you have a medical certificate issued by a reputable doctor.
Q. Are there things I shouldn’t share with the insurance provider?
Yes. Only answer the questions asked. Refrain from voluntarily supplying any information not requested. You might inadvertently disclose a crucial tidbit, which may negate your claim. Also, do not give out written or recorded statements, which can be used against you.
If you’re not sure what to disclose or discuss with the insurance provider, speak with a car accident attorney (or a personal injury lawyer) in your area.
Q. What should I do if the insurance company issues a settlement check early on?
Always consult a lawyer before entering into a compromise agreement. You could be agreeing to an amount, which may be less than what you’re entitled to. Once the offer is accepted, it may be difficult to recover the amount due to you as rightful compensation.