Auto insurance claim – After a Car Accident | Everything you need to know     

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It’s your valuable asset. Auto insurance claim is the need while accident happens because you are already insured by them and you are paying for it. So don’t waste time while you need them most. Filing the third-party insurance claim is the best when you feel that the other driver caused the accident

Different types of Auto insurance claims

Whether you drive an RV, motorcycle, personal or commercial car, you’ll want coverage to help pay for the repairing or replacing cost if your vehicle is damaged, protecting you against financial loss. And the damage is not likely to happen only during a road accident, there are many incidents when an auto insurance claim can help.

While buying an auto insurance policy can be straightforward for most car owners, getting a claim can be complicated sometimes. Multiple factors are considered by the insurance policy provider when you claim your coverage, resulting in a real mess while you’re in trouble. Having enough information about the different types of auto insurance claims can help go through the process smoothly.

The Most Common Types of Car Insurance Claims Include:

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Bodily Injury Claim

A bodily injury claim is, so far, the most commonly filed an auto insurance claim across the USA. If you are involved in an auto accident, which causes one to sustain an accident, bodily injury claim is the right choice. The policyholder will file a claim with the at-fault motorist’s insurance company where various details are required. The adjuster will calculate what your claim is worth as soon as you’ve contacted the insurance company that is proper. The insurance company will divide the compensatory damages into two categories:

  • Special Damages (economic losses and wage loss)
  • General (noneconomic injury like pain and suffering)

When you file a bodily injury claim to the at-fault person’s insurance company, you must provide the following details to win the claim:

  • Details of every person involved in an incident.
  • Insurance information of people involved.
  • Pictures of the vehicle. Special attention to details (such as situations contributed to blocked street signs)
  • Accident-specific details such as Date, Time, and Location.
  • The police report with all details about the incident.
  • Medical bills and documentation from your medical care provider.

Although there’s a lot required apart from these details but it’s good to have this kind of information ready when you initially file your claim. The bodily injury liability coverage may help pay for the following costs:

  • Lost income compensation
  • Medical expenses (For another driver, a pedestrian or an unrelated passenger in your car)
  • Legal fees

Although the bodily insurance claim covers all the three above-mentioned expenses, but if the other party doesn’t have an auto insurance or owns an insurance policy with limited coverage to cover your injuries, you might be out of luck. Having the following two can be helpful in such situations:

  • Underinsured motorist coverage that will pay the difference when the at-fault driver’s policy limits are too low.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage that will pay for your injuries when you were hit by a driver who doesn’t own an insurance
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Auto insurance claim

Property Damage Claim

 It covers the damage to property and vehicles due to an auto accident. It will cover almost all types of damages from a car crashing into a home or car crashing into a driveway to a car hitting a mailbox. Your auto insurance company is liable to take responsibility for compensating the damage. During a property damage incident, the car, not the driver, determines the liability.

Steps to take in such situations include the following:

  • Move to a safer place
  • Call the police
  • Take pictures of your vehicle and damaged property
  • Contact details of the witnesses
  • Document the damage

Do you need an attorney?

Well, usually the property damage claims can be handled on your own behalf through the insurance provider. However, if the accident involves any kind of personal injury, you can hire a car accident attorney who will handle both claims for you.

Typically, a property damage claim will help with the expenses for repair and/or replacement of:

  • Damaged vehicles.
  • Damaged personal property such as a house, a lamppost, or a fence.
  • Legal defense fees incurred for property damage claim.
  • Lost income from a business closure that your accident was deemed to cost.

If you have a basic auto insurance policy, then you may need to have some add-ons in your insurance policy to get paid for your own damage that include Collision Coverage or Comprehensive Coverage. Both these coverages will help pay for repairs to your car in the event of the total after:

  • Crashing into an object.
  • Crashing into another car.
  • Rolling over.
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Auto insurance claim

Medical Payment Claims

It helps cover medical expenses associated with auto accidents. Medical payment claim will cover health care bills of you (policyholder), your passengers or any family members driving at the time of an accident. No matter who’s at fault, it will help you with your medical bills. Additionally, this will also help defray costs from medical bills and lost wages.

It is mandatory in some states to let you drive with quality coverage and peace of mind. In order to receive the benefits of medical payment claim, one needs to provide claim directory to the insurance company. Similar to PIP, medical payment claim will help pay your medical expenses no matter who is found at fault for the accident.

Your Medical Payment Claim Covers?

  • Doctor visits
  • EMT & ambulance fees
  • Hospital visits and stays
  • Professional nursing service and care
  • Surgery
  • X-rays
  • Prostheses

Total Loss Claims

In case your car is damaged to an extent that its repair cost exceeds to the limits in your state, you could be dealing with the “Total loss” claim. Determining whether a vehicle is a total loss depends on several factors that include:

  • The specific condition of the insured vehicle (Cost of repair involved. Will the repair cost more than the vehicle cost itself?)
  • The car insurance company (Along with state laws, companies can also set their own standards for totaled vehicles)
  • Individual state laws (The vehicle must suffer a percentage of damage).

Also, it applies if your vehicle is stolen and not recovered. In case of total loss incident:

  • You will receive a package with a packet of information for you to fill out.
  • Insurance professionals will conduct an inspection to confirm that it is a total loss situation.
  • You will receive a call from a claims representative to discuss the value of your car.
  • Once the form is sent back, your payment is issued and sent to you via UPS.

What You Get for a Totaled Vehicle

Without a doubt, your car insurance company will pay the fair market value, or actual cash value, of the insured vehicle, once it is proved, totaled. Should you choose to accept the Actual Cash Value of the totaled vehicle, and not dispute the claim, you could receive a full settlement or partial settlements.

Here are the general principles of the settlement:

  • Full Settlement where you hand over the vehicle to the insurance company.
  • Partial Settlement where you can sell the vehicle or salvage it. Also, you can choose to donate the vehicle and receive IRS tax write-off.

Some auto insurance companies send policyholder a blank sworn statement form to complete after the claim is filled. The form must be notarized by a licensed notary before submitting it to the insurance claim adjuster.

Comprehensive Insurance Claims

It is the most useful coverage available for the car owners, allowing them to stay protected against any type of damage or destruction that occurs by forces other than the driver himself.

Comprehensive insurance covers damage to the vehicle such as:

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Windstorm damage
  • Tornado damage

What is Not Covered in Comprehensive Cover?

  • Damage to your car from a collision
  • Medical expenses after an accident
  • Damage to another person’s vehicle from a collision

Third Party Claims

When filing an auto insurance claim, you have one of two options

  • First Party – Go through your own insurance company.
  • Third Party – Go through the insurer of the other insurer involved in an accident.

Filing the third-party insurance claim is the best when you feel that the other driver caused the accident. This is important to go with a third-party insurance claim in such situation since you avoid having to involve your insurer.

While filing an insurance claim with the third-party insurer, remember that communication may be tricky as you aren’t currently paying fact and aren’t their customer. An insurer of another driver may try to deny claims by offering an unreasonably low settlement compensation or giving you other excuses such as ‘there is not sufficient evidence to determine fault.’

Final Words

Before you reach on your decision of buying an auto insurance, it is important to understand what each option, in your insurance policy, does and how it would work if you ever needed it. In some states, some coverages may be mandatory while some may be added to your car insurance as add-on to expand your coverage.

Having sufficient car insurance coverage to stay stress-free in case of a vehicle or bodily damage is very important. According to statistics, at some point, every car insurance owner likely has to make a car insurance claim, possibly even several.

So, make sure you are dealing with a professional car insurance company to get assured assistance when you actually need it. A good company helps deal with claims in an expedient manner.

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