What Will My Insurance Company Do After the Accident?

Q. What happens after I file the claim with my insurance company?

A. Your insurance company will contact you for additional information, such as a detailed account of the facts, or a written or recorded statement. An examination under oath may be requested. As part of the investigation, other drivers and witnesses may be contacted. If you have medical payments or an uninsured motorist claim, you must provide documentation of your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, et cetera.

Q. What should I do If the insurance company does not contact me?

A. A claim representative should contact you within a reasonable period, usually 24-72 hours after you report the loss. If you do not hear from anyone, call your agent or insurance company for assistance. If they are not responsive, or you believe there is an unreasonable delay in settling your claim, contact the Department of Insurance.

Q. How does the insurance company evaluate vehicle damage?

A. An adjuster or appraiser usually inspects the vehicle. Do not authorize repairs until the adjuster has inspected the vehicle and you are satisfied with the scope of repairs and the repair facility. If the damage is relatively minor, the company may ask you to submit competitive repair estimates.

Q. What will the company pay on a physical damage claim under a standard auto policy?

A. Generally, the company will pay the lesser of the amount necessary to repair the vehicle or the actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle.

Read your policy to be certain of what is and isn’t covered. Pay particular attention to exclusions. For example, there is usually no coverage for stereo equipment, a telephone, or a citizens band radio unless the equipment was permanently installed by the automobile manufacturer in the normal opening in the dash or console. Coverage is usually available for such special equipment for an extra premium charge.

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