Hance’s Uptown Collisions explains how to navigate the auto insurance claims process after an accident. Contact us to learn more!
Being in a collision is certainly stressful. Assuming you did not sustain serious injuries, your first thought is likely: oh great, now I have to deal with the insurance company, fill out claims forms and fight for the money I need just to cover repairs. We get it. Filing insurance claims can be torturous, which is why it’s a relief when your auto mechanic can take care of that part for you.
And that’s just what we do here at Hance’s Uptown Collision Center. Filing a claim and then waiting around for the insurance adjuster’s decision doesn’t have to be daunting – provided you take the process step by step.
You may wonder if it’s even worth it to file a claim. A good rule of thumb is: when your damages are less than your deductible, the low payout—if you even get one at all – may not be worth your time and effort.
“Loss costs” are rising in the United States, and according to the Insurance Information Institute, these are the biggest part of the price of auto insurance. They’re also the most volatile.
Tips After a Collision
If you do find yourself in the aftermath of a collision, heed these steps.
Check For Injuries
Call 911 if you or your passengers have suffered an injury, call 911, then wait for emergency responders. Stay put and don’t move.
Get to Safety
If you are able, move your vehicle to the side of the road or a sidewalk. If you think your car is posing a safety hazard where it has come to rest, and if it’s drivable and safe to do so, pull over to the side of the road or other safe nearby area.
Call the Police
You shouldn’t be the one to decide how serious a crash is. You should call the police whether you have gone through a simple fender bender or have been part of a major collision. The officers on the scene will take an accident report and take notes to pass on to your insurance company later. This will help them with the claims process.
Approach the driver of the other vehicle and exchange contact and insurance information. Be sure to get their:
- Name and contact info
- Insurance company/policy number
- Driver’s license and license plate number
- Vehicle make, model and color
- Specific location at the accident
Don’t talk about anything else except these basics, and certainly do not discuss fault. Fault will be determined by the adjuster after they fully inspect both vehicles, and receive all information from both parties as well as any supporting documentation. These documents can include anything from photos of the scene to the police report.
Document the Accident
Next, you will want to:
- Ask the police officers for their names and badge numbers
- Find out where to obtain a copy of their accident report to give your insurance company. Most will give you a copy right then and there.
- Document the accident scene. Take pictures of your vehicle from all angles to show damage. While you’re at it, take a photo of the other driver’s license plate.
- Talk to witnesses at the scene if there are any, writing down their names and getting their contact information.
Notify Your Insurer
If it’s safe to do so and you have time, call your insurance agent while you are still on the scene. They will let you know what you will need to obtain for the claims process, saving you time and hassle from hunting it all down later. They should also be able to tell you what to expect in the claims process and what next steps you should be taking.
How Does Hance’s Help?
Here at Hance’s Uptown Collision Center, we see a lot of accidents and the aftermath they cause, from scrapes and scratches to dents and crushed panels. It can all get very expensive, so filing claims with your insurance company will help you cover the work that needs to be done. Our team frequently files claims for customers so they can get their vehicles back to “pre-loss” condition while ensuring the work is done affordably but correctly.
We will tell your insurance company the work that needs to occur to safely and properly repair your car. You can count on us because we are Automotive Collision Experts, using all OEM Procedures and I-Car standards. These standards ensure your vehicle is returned to a safe “Pre-Loss Condition” as called for by the manufacturer.