Car insurance claims are frequently frustrating and complicated. However, if a car accident happens, you must initiate appropriate contact with your car insurance company. Use the following dos and don’ts to guide you through the insurance claims process.
Car Insurance Claims “Dos”
- Call your auto insurance agent as soon as possible after the accident or injury occurs. If you don’t have an agent, contact your insurance claims intake number right away. This information should be printed on your insurance card. Unless you’re hospitalized, call your insurer now.
- Review your auto insurance coverage to refresh your understanding of the policy. Read the exclusion and coverage policy sections with care.
- Take good notes during any conversation with the insurance company. Ask representatives to spell their names, get their job titles, and ask their supervisors’ names. If the representative doesn’t provide his or her last name, ask for an identifying number and location so that you can refer to the conversation later.
- Check if you have additional coverage. For instance, an umbrella policy or credit card account may offer additional accident claims coverage.
- Take lots of pictures. Record damage to the vehicle. Take pictures of your injuries.
- Report the incident accurately and honestly to the insurer. Tell the claims representative the facts. If you aren’t completely candid, you might inadvertently invalidate the policy or prompt a denial of the claim.
- Know the difference between depreciated value and replacement coverage. If the policy says it provides replacement coverage, there’s no need to settle for “actual” cash value. If your policy offers “replacement cost coverage,” it may be necessary to repurchase items before you’re fully reimbursed by the insurer.
- Keep receipts in connection with the claim. Purchases, meals, or hotels made in connection with the claim or during your recovery should be considered in the final claim settlement.
Car Insurance Claims “Don’ts”
- Never provide a written or recorded statement to an insurer until you consult a personal injury attorney.
- Don’t allow an insurer to record your phone conversation(s).
- Don’t accept the insurer’s appraisal or estimate of losses right away. This first estimate might be less than you deserve.
- Don’t sign a waiver or release until you consult an experienced personal injury lawyer.
- Never accept a check from the insurer marked final payment unless you’ve agreed to the amount beforehand.
- Know your policy’s time limits. Your policy probably requires that you submit a signed statement/proof of loss within a specific time period. You may have a limited time period from the date of loss to bring legal action.
Contact the Chino Hills personal injury attorneys at The Paris Firm right away to protect your legal rights. Failing to act now can result in the loss of your rights to bring legal action against a negligent driver or insurance company. Contact The Paris Firm now at 909-325-6185 to discuss your potential case.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.