GHENT, WV (WVNS) — With the colder seasons coming in and animals becoming more prevalent on the road, a car accident is bound to happen.
Car insurance is something we buy and wish to never use, but if the case comes up, especially during this time, you will be ready to call in and make a claim. It may not always be a collision with another car, but sometimes a deer or inclement weather, which is why we must always be diligent when driving.
Here is how to make a claim if the unlucky situation does come up.
Call the Police
You should always call the police to file a report if a car accident does occur. This is usually the case if you get into a fender bender with another car, but this is the best way when filing for an insurance claim as well. Not only will it prevent you from faded details, but it is a great way to start the process. You usually do not need to do this if you hit an animal or from bad weather, but it is still recommended.
Collect Evidence and Documentation of the Accident
According to nerdwallet There is information you must have so that you can answer your insurer’s questions when the accident occurs such as:
- Take photos of any cars involved, the people involved, and license plates.
- Take photos of any damaged property to you and other cars involved and a better view of the accident.
- Take down the names, phone numbers, addresses and insurance information of everyone involved.
- Try to write a short, brief summary of the accident and what happened.
- Get a copy of the police report.
- Always get information from witnesses involved.
Details are the main part of making a claim, so remember as much as you can. This applies to bad weather, hitting animals such as deer, or anything beyond your control.
Get in Touch with Your Insurer
You will want to file an insurance claim if the accident involved anyone else or if there is clear, significant damage to your vehicle. But once you have all the information you need, it is time to file a claim. You can file over the phone or through your insurer’s app or website.
Speak with an Insurance Adjuster
Now that your claim is filed, an insurance adjuster will reach out to you in a few days to go through all the details of your claim and what happened exactly in the accident, whether it be from another car, an animal, or inclement weather. They figure out how much you have to pay for the damage and/or any injuries that could be caused in an accident. nerdwallet says, “as part of their investigation, an adjuster will assess the damage reported on the claim, interview those involved in an accident, review your documentation and address personal injury claims.”
Receive Your Insurance Payout
Usually you get a payout after the insurance adjuster goes over your claim. This is the last part of the process. Your insurance adjuster can coordinate and set up where your car gets fixed, or you can get it fixed on your own. nerdwallet says the insurer’s choice of shop is usually best because you can usually benefit from the lifetime warranty.
If your car is a total loss or gets stolen, you will receive a payment for the market value of the car.