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Car Insurance – Ease Claim Filing Headaches
As if being in an accident or having your car stolen weren't bad enough, nothing cranks up your stress level like dealing with an obstinate insurer.
The claims process after an auto accident is supposed to be simple. You make a claim, an adjuster estimates the repair costs and the insurance company cuts you a check to cover the repairs. Unfortunately, the process isn't always so simple for many of the millions of people who file claims each year.
Here are some things you can do to get claims settled as fast and as smoothly as possible:
Jot down the setting, time, weather and other aspects of the environment; you don't know what will be significant later. Keeping a disposable camera in your auto, so you can take photos of the accident scene, is an excellent idea.
If a camera is not available, you can make a rough drawing of damage to vehicles and property, and describe any apparent injuries and other pertinent facts. Acquire and maintain a copy of the police report for yourself as well.
Promptly contact your insurer. The insurance company could negate your policy if you don't. Be sure to also report in writing to make sure that your rights are protected under law. Verify your policy- identify what coverage you have and don't have so you know what you can claim. Talk with your agent beforehand about the claims process and what information the company may need. Verify the deadlines as well. Some policies have time limits for each step of the claims' process.
If your auto is stolen, your initial response should be similar to any auto accident. First, have a police officer visit the scene and file a police report. Try to have your license plate number and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) for the police. If the Registration is stolen along with the car, try to obtain a duplicate from the Transport Authorities without delay. Then notify your car insurance company right away. claims for stolen vehicles always take longer to process, because the police are given a reasonable amount of time to locate the stolen car. Stay in touch with the police regarding the development of the investigation. If the car is not traced after a realistic period, get a report from the police to that effect. If the vehicle is traced, tell the company immediately.
Be sure and watch your claim: Obtain your claim number and call the company or claims adjuster periodically for status. With certain insurers you can track your claim's status online. Sometimes writing a letter to the adjuster or a supervisor can get things moving, if you feel they are delayed. Be persistent, but not insufferable.
Double check your policy for rental coverage to have transport while waiting. If the mishap wasn't your fault, you can get a rental auto while your car is being repaired, paid for by the other driver's insurance company. If the accident was your fault, you need to have rental reimbursement coverage. If your car was stolen and you have comprehensive insurance, your insurer will probably award you a specific amount each day for a rental.
These tips can help you get through the claims process and back on the road faster.
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