Always call us first! Remember, as your independent insurance agent, we work for you not the insurance company so we’ll help you through the entire process on your behalf. However all auto insurance companies want you to call the claim in to them. Why, you were there, you were involved, you know the details. They will ask detailed question concerning the incident.
To get your claim moving in the right direction, you’ll need to give us as many details as you can. A lot of these details are basic:
Just remember, providing the insurance company with all the relevant details in a timely fashion can help the rest of the process go faster. It is also a great idea to take pictures with your phone or camera of the damage and any evidence that will prove the other party was at fault if this is the case.
Every claim is unique, and there are a lot of different things that could affect how long it takes to resolve your claim. Although you might wish things were going a little faster, please keep in mind that even though filing a claim is probably a rare event for you, our company’s claims teams are made up of experienced professionals who work with issues similar to yours day in and day out.
They’ll always do their best to get your auto insurance claim resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible. You can help your claim go smoothly by cooperating with your claims rep and providing any information they request as quickly as possible.
Your deductible is the amount you’ve agreed to pay out of your pocket before your company pays for any covered losses. Here’s an example.
Say you have $5,000 worth of covered damage, and you picked a $1000 deductible, when you bought the auto insurance policy. That means you pay the first $1000 of the loss, and your auto insurance pays the rest. One question we get a lot is, “Do I have to pay the company my deductible?” The short answer is no, the way it works is that the company will subtract your deductible from the final settlement and send you the difference. You would pay the $1,000 to the repair company.
Even if you’re not responsible, if the other party doesn’t have coverage, you’ll have to pay your deductible. However, during the claim investigation, if the facts indicate there’s a chance to recover the damages from the person responsible for the accident, your insurance company attempt to recover the money they have paid plus your deductible – this is called subrogation
Don’t try and ignore the issue; contact us immediately. Then, we will advise you on your next steps. Generally we will advise you to file a claim, then your company will conduct an investigation to assess the allegations. Depending on your coverage and the cause of loss, most companies will pay for your defense as long as you turn in the claim in a timely fashion.
The decision whether to repair or declare a vehicle a total loss is based on the type and the extent of damage, age of the vehicle, state law, and other factors. In order to make a decision, your insurance company will have to inspect your vehicle. If the repair estimate is more than the vehicle’s worth, most companies will pay the actual cash value of the vehicle, minus your deductible. We suggest you do a little leg work and go online to look at local prices for the same make, model and mileage vehicle as you had.
Knowledge is power and having this can help you if you have to negotiate a total loss on your vehicle.
First don’t panic, get the info and contact the claims rep. This happens on occasion and the claims rep will work with the shop to verify costs and if merited increase the claims settlement for the additional damage.
Every situation is unique, so depending on your circumstances, your premium may be affected. If you are concerned, don’t hesitate to call us to discuss this.