Last Updated on September 20, 2022 by John Robinson
There are many things to know before filing car insurance claim after an accident. It is important to be prepared and have all the information you need before contacting your insurance company. They will ask you a lot of questions, and it is in your best interest to have all the answers ready. Being organized and knowing what to expect will make the process much smoother for everyone involved. In this article, you will find 8 helpful tips to help you know everything you need before filing an insurance claim, so read on!
Things To Know before Filing car insurance after an accident
1. You can file more than one claim
You can file up to three claims with different companies on one day, but they must be on separate incidents. This is known as the “per accident per insurer” rule. If you need to file more claims than three, it is best to be extra prepared and organized.
2. You can report within 24 hours of the accident
It’s important to act quickly after an accident since waiting too long could negatively affect your case. The more time goes on, the harder it becomes to gather evidence like witness statements and police reports. Be sure not to wait more than forty-eight hours after an accident before reporting it.
3. Your insurance rates may go up
If you make a claim with one company, your premiums will likely increase (nearly 40% according to some sources). If you file claims with both of your insurance companies, everyone will know that you are a high-risk driver and they will probably raise your rates even more. Also, some companies may cancel your insurance policy if they feel that you are more of a risk than an asset. When your insurance rates go up, you will have less money, and there will likely be fewer insurance companies willing to insure you. This could lead to a slippery slope, and eventually, no one will be able to ensure you.
4. You can’t be found at fault if you didn’t cause the accident
You don’t have to have been in control of your vehicle or even the one who hit the other car to file a claim with your insurance company. If you’re a passenger in a car that gets into an accident, hit by a falling tree branch, injured at work, or even hit while taking out the trash – you can file an insurance claim. You just have to prove that someone else caused your injuries whether it was through their negligence or intentional actions.
For example, if you are taking out the trash and an ice cream truck hits you, then it would be considered intentional since that was not expected. If you are in a grocery store crosswalk when an out-of-control driver hits you, it is their negligence (failure to act reasonably) for hitting you because they were driving too fast or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
5. Your rates won’t go up if you are the victim of a hit-and-run
If someone hits your car and speeds off, leaving you with damage or injuries, don’t worry about filing an insurance claim. Your rates won’t be affected since the accident was not your fault.
If you find yourself in a hit-and-run accident, it is important to get the license plate number and car make/model of the other vehicle. Without this information, the police will probably not be able to track down who hit you since many cars look alike.
6. You pay less in insurance if your deductible is a higher percentage of a claim
This means that if you have a higher deductible, you will pay less in insurance premiums. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and file an $8,000 claim – you will pay less than if you had a $200 deductible for the same accident. Try to raise your deductible so that you can save on insurance premiums.
If you want to pay less for your insurance premiums but don’t want a higher deductible, try to get a more comprehensive policy. This way you won’t have to pay out of pocket for some damages and will still be able to lower your premiums by having a high deductible.
7. You can hire a personal injury attorney
If you feel that the insurance company is trying to give you less than what you deserve, or if they are not quick enough in responding to your claim, hiring an attorney may be a good idea. For example, a Columbus based car accident attorney can help you with the details, and make sure no mistakes are made. This could also be true when dealing with larger claims like those involving serious injuries or damage to multiple vehicles.
8. Your car is usually covered if it is stolen
If your car gets stolen, you can file a claim with your insurance company. However, the company might not pay for damages done to your car after it was recovered. In this case, you should contact your attorney to see if you have any other legal recourse. Depending on the situation, you may be able to file a claim for damages with the thief as well as your insurance company.
Even though filing an insurance claim can be a stressful time, being aware of the facts and knowing what to expect from your insurer will make things go much more smoothly.
If you are looking for some general information about what to do before filing an insurance claim after an accident, this article may be helpful. We have outlined the most important things that you should know about your policy and how it will affect your rates if you decide to file a claim. If all of these questions make sense to you and there is no confusion, then go ahead and contact your insurer with any additional details they need in order to process your claim quickly. It’s always best when both parties can come together on good terms without having too many bumps along the way!