How to File a Car Insurance Claim
Step 1: Understand your policy
Before a loss, sit down and carefully read your insurance policy. Call your agent or company if you have any questions about what is or is not covered.
Step 2: Exchange information
If you are involved in an accident, get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, insurance carrier, and insurer’s phone number. Be prepared to give the same information about yourself to the other driver. You can find insurers’ telephone numbers on the proof-of-insurance cards that should be carried on your person when operating a motor vehicle.
Step 3: Identify witnesses
Ask witnesses to the accident for their names and phone numbers in case their account of the accident is needed.
Step 4: File an accident report
Contact local law enforcement officers to have an accident report prepared. If law enforcement is not reachable, accident reports and detailed instructions are available at all police departments, sheriff’s offices, your local Department of Motor Vehicles office, and on your local Department of Motor Vehicles’ web site.
Step 5: Notify your insurer
Contact your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. An insurance adjuster will review the accident report to determine who caused the accident. If the accident was not your fault, you can have either your insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurance company handle the repair or replacement of your vehicle.
Step 6: Do not release insurers too early
Do not relieve your insurance company of its responsibility until the damages are settled to your satisfaction.