If you’ve been in an accident, it is important to understand the accident insurance claims process; to get coverage for the damages – especially if you think you’re not at fault.
A strong claim is one that is well built, supported by enough evidence, well presented, and then negotiated.
So, what is your first step in case of an accident?
In this article, we will walk you through the entire accident insurance claims process, starting at the site of the crash.
When The Accident Occurs
A claim is a notification to your insurance provider that you have suffered an accident, and would like to request a payout as stated on your policy.
However, for any further action to be taken in regards to your claim, the insurer will ask you to provide proof before initiating the accident insurance claims process.
If you’ve been in an accident, try to gather as much information you can from the scene, to be used as evidence later.
Call the police if they haven’t come on their own accord; they will be responsible for making a report that can be used later to determine liability.
Also remember to exchange information from with the other driver. In case the driver runs away, try to gather as much information as you can from your surroundings (for e.g. the number plate of the car etc.).
Photograph the damages incurred to your body and property, and seek medical help if necessary.
It’s also a good idea to not give any statements indicating liability, even if you’re not sure whose fault the accident was. This means that you shouldn’t apologise to the other party, or imply in any way that you shared part of the blame.
This can lead to a ruling against you in a court of law if a witness testifies to your behaviour, even if you weren’t at fault.
Making The Claim With Your Auto Insurance Provider
Filing a claim is very easy – all you need to do is contact your insurance provider, and apprise them of the situation.
But how this contact is established can vary from situation to situation.
While some claims can be made over a phone, you might need to fill out a form for others – especially if you’re the not-at-fault party. As stated previously, you may need to attach evidence (medical records, incident report, photographs etc.) with your claim, which you had gathered at the scene of the crash.
Working Through Your Accident Insurance Claims Process
As the third step in your accident insurance claims process, your insurer will likely go over your case in light of your insurance policy to determine if the damages are covered.
They will also check the legibility of your claim, and perform a loss-value analysis, or even hire specialists to give their expert advice on certain aspects of your claim.
If they determine that the other person was liable for the accident, they may choose to contact the other party’s insurance company to discuss your claim.
If the accident did not involve any other liable party, your insurer might ask you to work with them to gather quotes for repairs, and agree on a scope of work. You may even be asked to secure quotes on your own.
Once this phase is over, you can ask for a cash settlement from your insurer, based on the amount it will take you to cover all the damages.
Finalising Your Vehicle Insurance Claims Process
The final step in your accident insurance claims process is the settlement.
After assessing your claim, reviewing your policy, and working out the amount, the insurance company will pay the claim as covered under your plan.
Remember, as per the General Insurance Code of Practice, an insurance provider can take up to 10 business days to respond either favourably, or negatively to your claim – depending on the evidence gathered.
For more information on accident insurance claims, eligibility and the process, contact us now to speak to our specialists.