Auto Insurance Claims
Auto accidents can be reported to the agency or to your individual company. Contact information follows:
State Auto Insurance Companies
EMC Insurance Companies
In the event of an accident:
- Report all accidents as soon as possible
- Obtain the names, phone numbers, and address of each auto owner, driver, passenger & witnesses
- Obtain the name of Insurance Company & policy number for each vehicle involved
- Fix in your mind locations of vehicles before and after the accident. Take pictures if possible, and draw a diagram of the accident site.
- Don’t admit fault.
- Obtain the name of the investigating officer
Taking the time now to review the steps you should follow after an auto accident will help reduce the anxiety surrounding the incident and avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes when filing auto insurance claims.
Before you have a claim be sure you know the answers to these questions before you have to file a claim:
- How much liability insurance do you have? This coverage pays for damage you cause to another vehicle or injuries to other people.
- Does your state have no-fault insurance? What coverages does it provide?
- If you have collision and/or comprehensive coverage, what is your deductible (the amount you’ve agreed to pay out of your own pocket if you suffer a loss)?
At the Scene
- Stop your car and get help for the injured. Have someone call the police or highway patrol. Tell them how many people were injured and the types of injuries. The police can then notify the nearest medical unit. Give whatever help you can to the injured but avoid moving anyone so you don’t aggravate the injury. Covering an injured person with a blanket and making that person comfortable usually is as much as you can do.
- Provide the police with whatever information they require. Ask the investigating officer where you can obtain a copy of the police report, which you may need to support any claim you submit to your insurance company for auto insurance claims.
- Try to protect the accident scene. Take reasonable steps to protect your car from further damage, such as setting up flares, getting the car off the road and calling a tow truck. If necessary, have the car towed to a repair shop. But remember, your insurance company probably will want to have an adjuster inspect it and appraise the damage before you order repair work done. Make notes. Keep a pad and pencil in your glove compartment. Write down the names and addresses of all drivers and passengers involved in the accident. Also note the license number, make and model of each car involved and record the driver’s license number and insurance identification of each driver. Record the names and addresses of as many witnesses as possible, as well as the names and badge numbers of police officers or other emergency personnel. If you run into an unattended vehicle or object, try to find the owner. If you can’t, leave a note containing your name, address and phone number.
Filing Your Auto Insurance Claims – If your car is involved in an accident, if it is damaged by fire, flood or vandalism, or if it is stolen, put your insurance to work for you by following these steps in filing your auto insurance claim:
- Phone your insurance agent or a local company representative. Do it as soon as possible even if you’re far from home and even if someone else caused the accident. Ask your agent how to proceed and what forms or documents will be needed to support your auto insurance claims. Your company may require a “proof of loss” form, as well as documents relating to your claim, such as medical and auto repair bills and a copy of the police report. Supply the information your insurer needs. Cooperate with your insurance company in its investigation, settlement or defense of any claim, and turn over to the company immediately copies of any legal papers you receive in connection with your loss. Your insurer will represent you if a claim is brought against you and defend you if you are sued.
- Keep records of your expenses. Expenses you incur as a result of an automobile accident may be reimbursed under your policy. Remember, for example, that your no-fault insurer usually will pay your medical and hospital expenses, and possibly such other costs as lost wages and at least part of your costs if you have to hire a temporary housekeeper.
- Keep copies of your paper work. Store copies of all paper work in your own files. You may need to refer to it later.