Car accidents are never fun. They can be scary, overwhelming, and chaotic. When a car accident occurs, assuming everyone is okay, your first call should be to the police. But what you should also consider is getting on the phone with your insurance agent right away. There are small actions that can be taken at the scene that can make a huge impact on the outcome of the claim.
What Happens After An Accident?
In minor auto accidents, there is always a question on whether or not to get the police involved. This should never be in question — the police should always be contacted. This way everything can be fully documented in a police report. A thorough and accurate police report minimizes the risk for inaccuracies on your claim. In every situation, it is up to you to provide accurate information.
Once the report is filed and the claim is started, if repairs are necessary, you will need to get an estimate. The repair shop providing the estimate should be one you trust. In many cases, your insurance company will need to approve the repair shop as well. You should always know that by law you have the right to choose a company you trust.
Once all this information is presented, the insurance adjuster can look at the policy and determine the amount the policy will pay toward the claim. This amount includes:
- What your deductible is
- What the estimated costs of repair are
- What your auto insurance coverage provides and the carried limits
- Any additional limits on your policy like towing and rental
- What party is responsible for the accident
How To Help Your Claim
The goal here at the Ten Eyck Group is to have a policy in place to adequately respond in the event of a claim and partner with insurance companies that will respond as they should. With that said, there are instances in which you may not agree to the terms of the claim. For example, the repairs may cost more than the estimate and you may think you deserve more compensation.
If you run into a scenario like this, you can negotiate your claim. To do so, provide evidence of why you want changes. This may include an additional estimate for the repairs or it could include new information pertinent to the claim that was not originally known or disclosed. Keep in mind that all policies have limits and the policy will not pay any more than those stated limits.
It's also possible that the adjuster might deem your car totaled. This means the repairs are costlier than the value of the vehicle.