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A claim as it relates to an automobile is a formal request an assurer makes to an insurer for payment for compensation. The assurer makes this claim to cover for expenses incurred for damages as a result of a vehicle accident that affects the assurer directly or affects a third party that is involved in the accident. Having a car insurance policy is vital as car repairs can generally be expensive and difficult to handle.

Immediately after an accident, an assurer must file a claim as soon as possible. However, this task can be intimidating, especially for a first-timer. Additionally, an assurer needs to get the car back in a drivable condition as it is essential for everyday activities.

  1. How to File a Claim
  2. Involve the Police
  3. Submit a Report
  4. Be Prepared
  5. Contact the Insurer
  6. Delay of Claim

How to File a Claim

The moment an accident occurs, as long as the parties involved are healthy and free from any form of injury, then it is essential they file a claim with their insurance companies. Below are the steps involved in filing an auto insurance claim.

Involve the Police

The first step is to let the appropriate authorities know about the accident. In this case, inform the police. The police would usually send an officer to take a detailed report that would serve as the basis of an individual’s claim. In the case of a dispute with another driver, the police officer would ensure that everyone is safe. The officer would also inspect that car(s) and take any action that may be required to prevent harm to the car owner(s) and the general public.

Submit a Report

Certain states may require a motorist to file a report with the DMV. If an individual is unsure about their rights and responsibilities, they should seek clarification from the insurer.

Be Prepared

Have a detailed checklist of all the vital information regarding the accident. An individual should have all the required documents cataloged and ready for use.  Doing this helps the car owner by simplifying the task. An organized assurer would make the work of the insurer easier and reduce the likelihood of unnecessary delays.

Contact the Insurer

An individual should inform the insurer immediately. He or she should keep the insurer informed and seek clarification at each step to prevent delay. The assurer must submit a report to the insurer stating the nature of their claim. There are generally four types of claims, which are:

  • Physical damage,
  • Glass replacement,
  • Medical claims,
  • Roadside assistance.

The insurer can organize for a rental or tow the car depending on the nature of the policy. The insurer would usually assign a claim specialist the moment the assurer submits a claim. This representative would meet with the assurer and conduct all the necessary investigations. The report of the claim specialist determines the amount to be paid as compensation. Additionally, he or she determines if a claim is fraudulent or not.

Delay of Claim

Several factors can delay the entire process of an auto claim. These include the following.

  • Lack of or inadequate communication between the assurer and the claim specialist can create significant delays.
  • Substandard or incomplete repairs can slow down the process.
  • An assurer’s lack of knowledge about the type of claim to be processed can lead to significant problems.
  • Claims that involve natural disasters usually take longer to process.
  • The assurer’s inability to cover deductibles on time can lead to significant delays.

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