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Filing a Claim

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Today, over 200 million motor vehicles fill the United States roads and having an accident is more likely to happen than ever before. That is why someday you will probably have to file a car insurance claim. However, the good news is that most car accident claims do not involve personal injury. More than 63 % of the claims are about physical damage on the vehicle. Because of this, it is important to become familiar with the procedure of filing a claim.

The first thing that you should understand is your policy. Take your time and read your insurance policy thoroughly before you have a loss. If any doubt arises or you have any doubts about what is covered and what is not, contact your agent or company. Whenever you are involved in an accident exchange information with the other driver. Be sure to get the name of the other driver, phone number, address, insurance carrier, and insurer’s phone number. Be ready to provide the same information about yourself and your insurance company to the other person. Insurer’s telephone numbers are often found on proof-of-insurance cards. Also, never forget to identify witnesses (if there are any). Request names and phone numbers of witnesses to the accident, in case their story of the accident is necessary.

If an accident in which you are involved causes injuries of more than $1,500 worth of damage and occurs on a road or in other public place, you must file an accident report with the police department within 72 hours (three days). Detailed instructions as well as accident reports are often available at police departments and sheriff’s offices. Next, and as soon as possible, speak to your insurance company so that an insurance adjuster determines whose fault the accident is. In case that the incident was not your fault, you can have either the at-fault driver’s insurance company or a tour insurance company handling the repair or replacement of your car. In the latter case, you would not have a claim on your car policy and you would not have the responsibility to pay a deductible.

Finally, remember that an insurance adjuster will consider the damage done to your car and that most car insurance policies incorporate an appraisal clause, and that this clause could be used to facilitate settling a dispute about claims concerning physical damage between your insurance company and you.

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