One minute, your parked car is on the street while you quickly run into the store — suddenly, your car gets rear-ended. What are you going to do? This is the kind of chaotic situation that can strike at any moment, making insurance an absolute necessity. But what are the steps you’re supposed to take next? Whether working with home, auto, or business insurance, knowing exactly what to do when filing an insurance claim is essential information that every insured person should know. This begs a few questions, though: How can you tell when to file in the first place? And what exactly are the steps to filing that insurance claim? Thankfully, LemonBrew has the answers. This guide will help walk you through them.
When an accident is bad, there’s no question about it: It’s time to file an insurance claim. But is it worth filing a claim every time? Or do you need to practice a little discretion with every accident, regardless of size or severity? The answer isn’t necessarily a hard and fast one.
An excellent way to determine if you need to file or not is to consider whether the damages are more or less than your deductible. It doesn’t have to be exact. There are many instances in which filing an insurance claim is unquestionable. For example, if an accident involves an injury if it’s unclear who’s at fault for an accident, or if there is severe property damage. Let’s break down the steps to filing an insurance claim.
First and foremost, you should call 911 if you notice any injuries, severe damage, or criminal activity. Whether it be a significant car crash, a break-in, or a simple fender bender, calling 911 after an accident isn’t required to make a claim, but it can often help speed the process along. Having an official police report allows the insurance company to streamline the operation of the claim by a remarkable margin.
Whether or not you choose to involve the police, you’ll want to take note of as much information as you can at the scene (especially if the mishap you’re filing a claim over wasn’t your fault). Next, you should exchange insurance information with any involved parties. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s licenses, insurance policy numbers, ear, make, model, license plate numbers, photos of the accident, and anything else that could act as evidence for your claim.
After you have collected your evidence and all necessary documents, it is time to contact the insurance company. They’ll help you walk through the next few steps. If the accident was someone else’s fault, you’d want to file your claim through their insurance rather than yours. They’ll ask you some simple questions, and as long as you answer truthfully and provide your supplemental info, things should go smoothly.
Finally, it’s time to file your claim. You’ve made the calls, you’ve gathered the info, you’ve contacted the right people, and now it’s time to lock in your claim. These days, with the many modern conveniences that have been incorporated into the process, this filing of your claim can be as simple and easy as opening up the insurer’s app or heading to the insurer’s website. You can also do it the old-fashioned way over the phone, email, or fax.
As with the first question, knowing how long you have to file a claim isn’t always the most clear-cut thing. As it happens, you can have anywhere from one month to three years. To keep yourself safe and ensure that you don’t let your deadline pass, your best bet is to file your insurance claim as soon as you can and begin working on gathering all necessary information right away.
Insurance claims will typically increase your premium depending on the cost or the severity of the claim, your record of past claims, whether the other person was insured or not, and whether or not you’re responsible for the accident. In some instances, such as no-fault states, your rates could increase regardless.
After you file your claim, a few steps come after. First, you’ll pay your deductible. After that, your insurer will provide you with temporary transportation or housing while your claim and reimbursement are pending. Once your payment has been received, you’ll get an estimate on the damage done to your home, car, or business and begin the repairing process.
At LemonBrew Insurance, we know the insurance process can be a complicated beast, but this process is changing drastically with such significant technological advancements. We’ll connect you with an insurance expert who will know exactly what to do to ensure you the best possible outcome for your claim. Contact LemonBrew to get a quote today.