While nobody wants to be involved in a car accident, even the safest and most careful drivers can get into one.
If you’ve been in a car accident, whether it was your fault or not, the first thing to do is make sure everyone is okay, including yourself. Here is a list of other steps to take, if possible:
- Call 911.
- Exchange information with everyone involved.
- Document the incident.
Once you handle these steps, you can then start the claim process by notifying your car insurer. Visit DMVGO.com for more nformation about car insurance.
Calling your insurance agent while you’re still present at the scene of the accident is helpful. Your agent can tell you what they need to start processing your claim and what to expect during the claims process.
Knowing these steps will help the process go more smoothly, and ensure you receive your vehicle repair funds promptly.
A personal error could result in a delay with your claim settlement. To learn more, continue reading DMVGO’s guide on the do’s and don’ts of filing car insurance claims.
The Do’s of Filing Insurance Claims
Have all the required documents. These include a valid driver’s license and policy papers. Otherwise, the insurance company will not honor your claim, rendering it invalid.
File an FIR (First Information Report). This is mandatory when filing a claim and required by the insurer when they process your claim. If you have been in a car accident, you must contact the police and file an FIR. After notifying the police, contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
Most insurance companies have a claim window of 24 to 48 hours after the accident. You can start calling your insurance agent while at the scene of the accident.
- Names of everyone involved.
- Time of day.
- Weather conditions.
- Photos of the car damage.
- Names and badge numbers of
- A copy of the accident report.
Check your policy documents. See if your insurance company will cover your current situation , as well as to get a basic idea of what they will include and exclude under the claim.
Document the accident thoroughly. Take pictures of your car from different angles to show the damage done to your vehicle and the other party’s vehicle. Plus, the other vehicle’s license plate.
Capture your injuries, and injuries sustained by any other person involved, if applicable. It may come in handy.
Talk to witnesses. If there are any witnesses, write down their names and contact details.
Be thorough and honest. When filing your insurance claim, add as much detail as possible, and be accurate and honest. Do not withhold any information from your vehicle insurer.
Keep a record of your bills and expenses. These records can be helpful throughout the claim process.
The Don’ts of Filing Insurance Claims
Leave everything as is. Even if you want to, you must not move your vehicle or the other party’s vehicle from the scene of the accident.
Claims are considered null in cases of informal settlements. If you intend to file a claim, you must file an FIR and follow the proper protocol.
Don’t panic or lose your temper. Right after the accident, remain calm and make sure everyone is alright. Contact the police and your insurer as soon as possible.
Do not give any written agreement to anyone. Understand your policy coverage and exclusions before entering into any agreement. If you have doubts about anything, obtain legal help to understand what you are agreeing to.
Do not accept any “final settlement” check or Direct Debit (DD) right away. Only do this when you are satisfied with all the terms.
Also, be aware of these certain conditions when an insurance company will not consider your claim:
- DUI or driving under influence.
- Involving yourself in rash driving or street racing.
- Using a personal vehicle for commercial purposes.
A car accident can leave even the most seasoned driver in distress. However, being aware of all these do’s and don’ts while filing a car insurance claim could save you from worries and make the process go more smoothly. That way, you can focus on working with your insurance company to get your vehicle repaired as smoothly and as quickly as possible.
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