Accidents are bound to happen. And they can happen to anyone. That’s why it’s essential to have car insurance at all times. But what should you do immediately after the accident? Well, start by moving your car to the roadside, ensuring that everyone is okay, and then contacting the emergency unit. Don’t forget to take pictures of the involved cars and exchange information with other parties. You also want to make sure that your insurer knows about the accident.
This article will delve into more guidelines on how to deal with your insurance firm and how to get the most out of your insurance policy.
Dealing With Your Insurer
In the event that you’re involved in a car accident, the first person to contact you will be an adjuster. It might be an independent adjuster or a staff adjuster hired by your car insurance company. They’re going to ask you several questions, generally including:
- Where is your vehicle located?
- Was anyone hurt?
- Is your vehicle damaged?
- What exactly happened during the accident?
They want to ensure that your car is located in the right place so that it doesn’t accrue storage fees from a tow shop. If it isn’t properly located, they’ll contact the tow shop and authorize the car to be released. Most insurers will then move the vehicle to one of their body shops. And this is where all repairs will be done. But you can always choose a different place if you aren’t comfortable with the insurer’
If the damage to your vehicle is very slight and you’re ready to negotiate a cash settlement, then avoid filing a claim. All you need is to execute a signed as well as an enforceable mutual release. It’s your obligation to notify your insurer of any potential claim so that they can timely investigate. Of course, physical claims might arise later, but you might forfeit coverage for claims associated with the accident if you’ve failed to inform your insurer about the accident.
Repairing Your Vehicle
If your car needs to be repaired, the insurance firm will recommend one of their preferred repair shops. They usually make arrangements with shops that’ll perform certain tasks for them. But you aren’t strictly required to visit one of their shops. You can always choose the one you’re comfortable with.
Once you determine where you want your car fixed, inform your insurer, and the adjuster will negotiate a reasonable price with the shop. And this is usually the price that the insurance firm agrees to pay, and the repair shop agrees to accept. In this case, you shouldn’t be charged anything apart from your deductible.
If you have a high-end vehicle, you may want to ask the insurance company to cover the repair costs with OEM (Original Equipment from Manufacturer) parts only. Insurance is typically designed to put you back to the position you were in before the loss. Or at least somewhere close to your previous position.
Resolving Your Injury Claim
In case you’re injured during an accident, you’re entitled to recover a reasonable value of your medical costs, your lowest wages, as well as a reasonable value for your suffering. Regardless of what you might read on the internet, there isn’t a specific formula for calculating this amount. Each and every claim has its own value. Establishing what your case is worth often takes experience. So, it’s always better to consult with your attorney.
If you opt to go for it alone, remember that you only have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a claim or settle your case. The adjuster can’t extend this period for you- even if the company agrees to extend it. Some adjusters will claim that their computers gave them particular value. Don’t listen to them because their software can’t possibly figure out how much a case is worth. In fact, it determines values on the input they give. And since you don’t know what they feed in, you can’t trust the outcome. Thus, you shouldn’t accept this amount.
On the other hand, certain adjusters may send you a check, often for 500 dollars, and a release. They’ll then ask you to sign it and then deposit the check, after which you’ll be required to mail the release back to them. Don’t ever accept this. Remember, it isn’t the role of adjusters to drop draft you for the total value of your case. Instead, they only drop draft when they’re trying to settle a case for an amount that’s less than it’s overall worth.
Rethinking Your Location
Some insurance firms offer discounts for motorists who log a lower number of miles per year. It’s believed that the less time you spend driving, the less likely you’re to get involved in a car accident. On the contrary, those who spend more time behind the wheel have a greater risk of being in a crash.
And this is something to seriously consider when thinking about purchasing car insurance. How far is your home from the office, shops, and restaurants? If you’ll be traveling long distances every day, then your car insurance rates might go up.
But if you’ll be covering shorter distances, you might even want to consider purchasing a usage-based insurance program. For you to participate in this, you should utilize a monitoring device that plugs into your car and tracks the number of miles you drive, as well as how quickly you accelerate.
When you get involved in a car accident, the insurance adjuster might try playing different tactics with you. And most of these tactics have one common goal- saving the insurer money. While these tips don’t cover all circumstances, they’ll help you make the adjuster know that you understand exactly how the system works. And that alone will assist you with your claim.
You want to make sure that the insurance company fully settles your medical expenses and car damages. So, follow the above guidelines and familiarize yourself with all issues related to auto claims.