Filed an Auto Insurance Claim? What Happens Next
Oh, no. You’ve gotten into a car accident. Whether or not you’re at fault, the aftermath can be difficult, and you’re not looking forward to dealing with all the paperwork in the aftermath.
If you’re filing a claim with your insurance company, you may be wondering what happens after you send it in. While each company’s process is unique, most have the same basic steps. If you want to know what’s happening with your claim, read on. This blog will show you what’s happening at your insurance company.
1. Gather Evidence
After you file your claim, your insurance company first needs to look at all the accounts of what happened. They will assign an insurance adjustor or liability examiner to your case. That person may:
- Ask for a copy of the police report from the accident
- Talk to the other driver and any witnesses to get their stories of what happened
- Look at and photograph your car’s damage
- Visit where the accident took place
- Look at your medical records to see the extent of your injuries (if you sign a medical release form allowing him or her to do so)
- Check your social media accounts to see if you’re telling a different story of what happened online-after all, some people file fraudulent claims
Once your insurance adjustor has all of the information he or she needs, you can start taking care of your car.
2. Repair the Damage
Most insurance companies understand that you can’t put your life on hold while they make a decision about your claim. While they deliberate, they’ll help you get your car fixed. The process is different for each company, so make sure to ask what to do, but generally, companies have repair shops that they trust.
If you take your car into a trusted shop, you can be assured that the insurance company won’t argue with you on the cost. However, if you take your car into a shop of your choice that the insurance company isn’t familiar with, your insurance company may decide that the repair price is higher than it should be, and you’ll have to make up the cost.
Make sure you know what your insurance company wants to you do before just picking a shop at your leisure.
That way, your insurance is more likely to cover the entire cost of the repair.
3. Determine Fault
Now that your insurance company has gathered evidence and had time to review it, they need to make a decision about who is at fault in the accident. It’s likely that they will work closely with the other driver’s insurance company during this time.
Fault isn’t all-or-nothing. It’s entirely possible that the companies will agree that both people are partially at fault: one person could have been speeding, and the other could have been turning without using a turn signal. If both people messed up, the insurance companies will decide what percentage of blame to assign to each (like 80 percent to one driver and 20 percent to the other).
The costs follow the percentage of blame: the insurance company of the person who is 80 percent at fault will pay 80 percent of the total costs. With so much investigation and negotiation, it’s no wonder that the claim process can take a while.
4. Settle the Claim
Now that the insurance company has decided on how much it will pay versus how much the other company will pay for the accident, it’s time to settle your claim. You’ll soon hear their decision and receive any reimbursement you need.
If you’re not happy with the way your insurance company is treating you, consider Great Northern Insurance Agency. We make a point of treating our customers like people, not numbers. And if you were recently in an accident, we hope you’ll get the best outcome possible.