When you call your insurance company about the accident, it will be entered in your insurance record. Remember, if the damages are not significant and you can pay for them yourself, there is no need to file a claim. You must have every detail of the accident documented when you file your auto insurance claim. So try and get witnesses who would be willing to support your side of the story with the insurance company. File the claim with delay as your insurance company will take care of the claim process.
You should also be prepared to receive a call from the insurance company of the other person involved in the accident to hear your side about the happenings at the accident spot. You should have everything documented and including the name and phone number of the agent you spoke to. When you file your insurance claim, an insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster to handle your claim.
When your insurance claim is approved, the insurance company will call you to inform you that an insurance adjuster will assess the damage to your car and will ask you to send your car for repairs to a pre-approved servicing shop. The insurance adjuster will contact you to introduce him/her to you and investigate your case and discuss the claim process of the company. He/she will review your policy based on your coverage, deductibles against the extent of damage and injuries if any caused by the accident.
The adjusters will use different parameters to determine your car’s actual cash value ACV. You need not accept his word for your car’s ACV and get yourself involved in the process of evaluation. You must present your case strongly if you are sure your car is worth far more than what he says. You can ask for an adjustment to which they will most probably agree as they would not be willing to fight a court case with you if they feel that you have a fair chance to win. You should take some efforts towards finding an independent appraiser or do some research on the value of your car to support your case.
Though most of us know what is covered by our auto insurance policy, there are some fine prints in the policy about which we may not be very sure. It is only at the time when the insurance company needs to pay for the damages you have to make sure that you get a fair deal. So it is better to ask your insurance agent to learn the meaning of everything fine print and clear all your doubts at the time of buying your auto insurance. If you have rental car coverage you can rent a good car that your policy can allow Different policies will have different rules so you must check the details of the policy as your are liable for collision even with a rental car.It is most likely that your insurance company will deal with a car that is severely damaged. Some insurance companies categorize a vehicle as total loss when its repair bill exceeds its ACV by 51 percent. Some others give it a chance till it reaches 80 percent. You can also think of a comparable replacement or to upgrade to a better car as the car might have lost much of its resale value even through it is repaired to a good working condition. If a car that has been totaled by your insurance company and if you want it back inform the company early as your car may get auctioned off at the salvage yard. Also keep in mind that your settlement amount should include the taxes, license fee and the title for a comparable replacement. If you are taking back your car, check the value of deductions.