Protect yourself when making a car insurance claim

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, there are some important steps to take as soon as possible. In addition to receiving medical treatment for any injuries, you should do your best to file a claim with your insurance company in a timely manner.

The car insurance claim process is typically full of stress and concern, as you may have an uneasy feeling about the way you're treated. Even if you have a good relationship with your agent, don't assume this person is on your side.

Here are five helpful tips for making a car insurance claim:

  • Don't wait to call your agent: As soon as possible, call your agent to report the accident. If you're unable to do so, as a result of serious injuries, ask a loved one to assist you. During the first call you don't have to provide too much information or answer detailed questions. Instead, stick to the basics.
  • Review your policy: Focus on the coverage and exclusion sections to better understand what to expect from the claims process. Remember, your policy is a contract with your insurance company.
  • Take notes of all conversations: It doesn't matter whom you're speaking with at your insurance company, take notes including the person's name and title, the day and time, and the subject of the conversation.
  • Collect evidence: This can include pictures of the scene, your injuries and damage to your vehicle. Also, keep your medical records and bills for safe keeping.
  • Honesty is the best policy: Stick to the facts and nothing but the facts when speaking with your insurance company. Telling a lie, even a small one, could result in a denied claim and/or cancellation of your coverage.

Even if you follow these tips, you may find the car insurance claim process to be extremely frustrating. This is often the case when your insurer doesn't want to give you full and fair compensation.

You should never accept the insurance company's initial offer, as they're likely to "low ball" you in the hope of saving money.

Before you do anything, review your policy, learn more about your legal rights and have a plan of action in mind.

For more information on car insurance claims and other related matters, visit our website and browse our blog.

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