How to File a Car Insurance Claim

Humble Eagle
Jan 20, 2020 5:07:00 PM

Though we hope it never happens to us, an average of six million car accidents occur each year. This is one of the reasons why having auto insurance is so important. Depending on your level of coverage, insurance protects you and provides relief to your bank account from what could otherwise be a costly undertaking, especially if there is an injury or extensive car damage that occurs.

So, if you happen to be one of the six million this year who needs to file a car insurance claim — fingers crossed, you aren’t — here’s what you need to know: The process of filing an auto insurance claim actually starts at the scene of the accident. 

Step One: Get to Safety 

Car accidents rarely happen in a convenient or safe place. Instead, they’re on a highway with fast-moving cars on either side of you or smack dab in the middle of a bunch of traffic. So, the first thing you want to do is get to a safe place as soon as possible and make sure you, and whoever else was involved, are out of danger. 

This will prevent any further bodily injury from occurring or keep you from getting hurt altogether. Even if your car is too damaged to move to the side of the road, be sure you’re safe before taking the next step in filing your car insurance claim. Just make sure you’re still in eyesight of your car. 

Step Two: Call the Police

Once you’re in a safe place, you’ll want to call the police. Regardless of if it’s a fender-bender or a more extreme car accident, it is a good idea to file a police report.

When the police come, they will be able to capture an entire picture of what happened and determine who might be at fault. Though this is not a requirement to filing your auto insurance claim, it doesn’t hurt to have this extra layer of information on record.  

close up of a man's hands taking photo of a car accident

Step Three: Gather Information 

While you’re waiting for the police to get there, you’ll want to start gathering information yourself. There’s quite a bit of information you’ll want to record during this step, so it’s a good idea to write it down—or type it out in your notes in your phone since we live in a digital age. 

Be sure to write down the name, address, and phone number of the other driver(s) — even take a picture of their driver’s license if they’re ok with that — along with their car insurance policy number.

You’ll also want to write down the year, make, and model of all the cars involved in the accident. Here would also be a good place to pull out your phone camera and snap a picture of the license plates. And while your phone is out, take pictures of all the cars involved in the accident, from every angle you can, capturing any damage done (of course, only when it’s safe to do so).

Lastly, if you engage in any conversation with the other people involved during this process, you’ll want to write, in detail, any information they share involving the car accident, their car insurance, damage done, injury or pain they’re experiencing, and their understanding of how the accident happened. All this information will come in handy if you need to file both a car accident claim or a bodily injury claim.

Step Four: Contact Your Car Insurance Company

Once you have all the information you need, contact your car insurance company.

This step can wait until you’re at home and you’ve had a few minutes to take a breath and calm down from the chaos, but you want to be sure to loop them in as soon as possible. Your insurance company must be notified of the accident, and they will help you navigate all the legalities that follow, including how to file your official car insurance claim.

Step Five: File Your Car Insurance Claim 

When it comes time to file your official auto insurance claim, you’ll want to make sure you follow your insurance company’s policies and procedures for doing so. If you aren’t sure what these are, call your insurance agent and they can walk you through the process. These days, many insurance companies have online forms you can fill out for convenience.  

This is when you will need to pull out the notes and photos on your phone. When you file an auto insurance claim, you’ll be asked to provide detailed information about the car accident, including when and where it took place and how you recall the situation unfolding. They’ll also want to know who all was involved and any details you can provide about the other people.

If you don’t yet have car insurance, now is the time to get it—before an accident takes place. Use our tool today to find out what type of auto insurance is right for you and get a quote instantly. That way, you’ll know who to call if an accident happens.

A Great Offer, Just a Click Away

Need to get a new insurance policy fast? We can give you a quote in just minutes! Get what you need to get back on the road today. Get a quote now! 


Subscribe by Email

No Comments Yet

Let us know what you think