With car crashes being the leading cause of death for Americans 34 years and younger, the federal government requires every U.S. car owner to have auto insurance, except in Virginia and New Hampshire states. Every year, car owners in the U.S. make thousands of auto insurance claims due to the accidents that occur at least every minute, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). For example, in 2019 alone, insurance companies received 6.13 auto collision claims per 100 cars, as reported by Statista. This means that you may need to file a car insurance claim at some point in case you get involved in an accident.
Here is a look at four things you can expect during a car insurance claim process.
Once you file the claim, the insurance company will contact you through their claim’s representative, who will take you through the claim process. The representative may ask you to fill some forms and provide more details about the nature of the crash. This is why you should gather all possible information related to the accident, including the witnesses at the scene, the number of cars involved, and the cause of the accident. In case you were unconscious or injured during the accident, the insurance provider can communicate with the police department to gather more information about the crash.
In the U.S., losses worth more than $40 billion result from insurance fraud, as reported by the Insurance Information Institute (III). Insurance fraud can happen through incidences such as staging accidents, inflating claims, and filing claims for damages that didn’t occur. To prevent this, insurance companies conduct thorough investigations to ascertain the accident and damages before paying for them. Keeping this in mind, ensure you follow the car insurance claim rules and present all the available information to your insurance carrier during the investigation. If your insurer dismisses the claim, you can file a dispute and find out the reasons for the dismissal.
If the insurance company accepts the claim, the size of the damage will determine whether the car will be repaired or written off. If the cost of repairing the damage is more than 50% of the total insured value, the insurance carrier will prefer writing it off to paying for repairs, and vice versa. In other words, the claim will be huge, and hence, the insurance company will consider it as a total loss and pay for the value of the car at the time of the accident instead of repairing it.
The claim process can take weeks or months, depending on the availability of information and the length of the investigation, as per the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). For example, police reports may take weeks to reach the insurance company. Eventually, the insurance company will determine the size of your compensation based on several factors, including the size of your coverage, amount of deductible, and the extent of the damage. Depending on the type of auto coverage you have, the insurer can also pay for bodily injuries and third-party liability claims.
These are some of the things to expect during the car insurance claim process. For assistance with your auto insurance coverage, contact the experts at Mike Leonard Insurance Insurance Agency. We can connect you with our top carriers, including Kemper, MetLife, Nationwide, Travelers, Safeco Insurance, Progressive, and American Strategic Insurance, to find the right insurance policy.