How to File a Claim: A Step-by-step Process
August 18, 2021

How to File a Claim: A Step-by-step Process

After an accident, policyholders with auto insurance can file a claim to seek damages compensation. When your out-of-pocket costs surpass the policy’s deductible, filing a claim is helpful and can help pay for property damage, medical bills, lost earnings due to missed work, and even legal fees, depending on your coverage. To understand exactly what’s covered under your plan, read your policy or contact your insurance agent or provider. 

One of the first things you should do if your vehicle is damaged or stolen is to file an insurance claim. You are free to file the claim with your own insurance provider if another driver causes damage to your vehicle. 

Claims can be paid out of comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, or any of the other portions of the minimum auto insurance requirement, such as liability. Depending on the circumstances of the car incident, claims may potentially be paid from several sections of your policy. Your insurance company can cover your accident and the sort of damage that happened, on the basis of the provisions of your automobile insurance policy. 

You are represented by your insurance provider and are committed to your damages under the contract. All of the details should not need to be coordinated. Your claims adjuster should make you feel cared for and that they are working on your behalf. 

The insurance provider is expected to assist you, and as a consumer, you have the right to a fast and fair claim settlement as well as customer service. However, talk to your Insurance Representative/Agent if you have trouble communicating with your claim adjustment or do not understand something. You may also ask if the insurance firm has an ombudsman or a service supervisor for claims. In general, if you have a complaint and speak up, difficulties can typically be resolved. 

Contact your state commissioner’s office to see what you can do if you feel things are being neglected or taking too long. Before you employ a lawyer, contact your state commissioner to see if you can save money and resolve any claim concerns. You can even enlist their assistance in filing a claim with the insurance company. 

You may wish to talk to an agent about changing insurance companies into ones with a higher service rating for claims if you are not satisfied with your service at the end of your claim. 

When should you not file an auto insurance claim? 

Always double-check with your insurance agent or provider to see what your policy actually covers. It’s crucial to weigh your deductible against the cost of repairs out of pocket, especially if the damage is minimal, such as a scratch or fender bender. You will not be compensated if your deductible is higher than your out-of-pocket payments. 

You’ll also save time and maybe avoid rate increases if you don’t file a claim. A rate hike could end up costing you a lot more money in the long term. If the repair expenses are only slightly higher than your deductible, don’t file a claim because long-term rate hikes may outweigh your short-term repair expenditures. 

How do car insurance claims work? 

After an accident, there are three primary procedures to submitting a car insurance claim: 

1. Gather relevant evidence and documentation: Prepare to file your claim. 

2. Call your insurance company: File a claim and work with a claims adjuster. 

3. Claim settlement and payout: Receive a decision from the insurance company and appropriate compensation. 

Details on the process for filing an automobile insurance claim are available here. 

Car insurance claim for damages to your own car 

First and foremost, please notify the insurance company of the accident as soon as possible by calling their toll-free number or sending an email. You’ll need to fill out a claim form and submit it to the insurance company along with the required papers, as well as take your automobile to a shop for an estimate on the damage. 

The forms are available both online and in-person at the insurers’ offices. A surveyor will be appointed by the insurance company to assess the damages. The surveyor will write a report and send it to the insurer, along with a copy to you. You can have your car fixed based on the surveyor’s findings. 

You must deliver the surveyor the fully signed repair invoice, payment receipt, and other documents after the work are completed, and the surveyor will forward them to the insurance company. 

If all of the documentation is in order, the insurance company will issue a Delivery Order (DO) in the case of a cashless transaction, and you will be able to pick up your automobile after paying your portion of the workshop costs. 

In the event of reimbursement, you can pay the workshop and pick up your automobile, and the amount will be credited to your account according to the policy’s terms and conditions. 

Remember that if you do not submit your bills as soon as your car is freed from the garage, your insurance company will not refund you. As a result, you can’t keep the little bills and submit them at the end of the year. 

Car claim procedure for a stolen vehicle 

  • First and foremost, make a police report and submit an FIR. 

  • Make a copy of the FIR and send it to the insurance company. 

  • Make a copy of the final police report (non-traceable report stamped by the court) and send it to your insurance company. 

  • An inspector will be appointed by the insurance company. Assist the investigation as much as possible. 

  • Waiting for approval of the claim. 

  • After that, provide the insurance company the RC book from your stolen car. The owner’s name is then changed to the name of the insurer. 

  • Submit the car’s duplicate keys, as well as a subrogation letter. A notarized indemnification on stamp paper will also be required. 

  • The insurance provider will disburse the claim once all the formalities are fulfilled. 

The requirements relating to making an automobile insurance claims are quite important. Understanding the processes will make the work a lot easier for you, whether you need to make a little claim due to a minor accident or a huge claim due to your automobile being stolen. 

All insurance carriers nowadays have a very robust customer service network, so you should always speak with your insurer if you have a problem. If you have any worries about the claims, clear them up ahead of time so that your auto insurance claim goes easily when you need it. 

For a third-party claim on a car insurance policy, the procedure is as follows: 

  • Do not interact with a third party who has sent you a legal notice requesting a claim before notifying your insurance provider. Also, don’t make any financial obligations or out-of-court settlements without first consulting your insurer. 

  • Send a copy of the notice to your insurance company. 

  • You will also need to submit copies of the car’s RC book, driver’s license, and FIR. 

  • The insurer will check the records and examine the accident, and if everything looks good, they will appoint a lawyer for you. 

  • If the court orders you to pay the third-party damages, the insurance company will pay the third party directly. 

Keep the following guidelines in mind, and filling out and obtaining a car insurance claim will be simple. 

In conclusion 

Regardless of whether you are faulty in a car accident, you have to phone and let your insurance company know. If your accident causes damages, you will probably make a claim with the other driver’s insurance company or with your own insurer. Insurance firms prefer to pay out as little as possible in claims. So, while filing an insurance claim, be clever and document everything you can. 

With over 220 million cars on the road, there’s a good chance that an insured driver may be involved in a car accident at some point during their driving career. Dealing with the unexpected can be a stressful experience. It’s crucial that an insurance adjuster is seen as a valuable ally who can give a soothing effect and help the insured comprehend the stages of the claims process and the proper actions to take to clear up their confusion and reduce their stress in the immediate aftermath of an auto accident.

Tags: auto, claims, filing, insurance, process

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