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Successfully Handling Insurance Claims

car-accidentIt’s never a good thing to be involved in a car accident.  Depending on the situation, you could be dealing with physical pain, emotional distress, loss of time from work, and financial strain. Successfully handling insurance claims is key to getting accident issues resolved.

Dealing with insurance companies, claims adjusters and body shops will be part of the process to get through it all and back to normal life.  Here are some suggestions to navigate the accident process as  stress free as possible.

As you work with the insurance company to resolve your claim, keep in mind the purpose of insurance is to return the insured to their previous state.  After the claim is closed, you should be neither better nor worse off than before.

80% of All Drivers Overpay for Insurance. Do You? Start Saving Now. When you are involved in an accident and a claim is filed, there will be an investigation to determine who is at fault.

In an accident caused by another driver, they should have insurance to cover the repairs.  That includes providing a rental car while your car is in the shop, and covering any other expenses related to the damage you’ve experienced.

If you are at fault, your insurance company will pay for the cost of repairs to the other vehicle.  Your collision policy, if you have one, will repair your car after you pay the deductible.

When you only have liability insurance, the claim will be placed through the insurance of the driver who hit you.  However, if you have collision coverage on your car, you have the option of using your insurance company.  You are their client, and they should offer you better service than the opposing company.  When you collect through your own insurer, they will recover the cost of your repairs, including your collision deductible, from the other driver’s insurance.

There is a small risk that your company won’t be able to recover the entire cost of your repairs from the at-fault drivers insurance.  If so, you may be reimbursed a pro-rated portion of the deductible.  Whether you decide to use your insurance company or the other drivers will depend on a variety of factors you can discuss with your agent.

You will be assigned a claims adjuster who will be responsible for working out a settlement for repairs.  Insurance companies have a list of repair shops they work directly with.  If you agree to use a company approved shop, your repair may be completed faster.

Keep in mind that the insurance company cannot require you to use a shop they recommend.  You can do business with any shop you choose, and your claims adjuster will work with them.  The insurance company will pay a cost of repairs they consider typical for the local market.

If the insurer decides that your car is a total loss, you will receive a check in the amount to purchase a similar car in the local area. Whether your car is going to be repaired or replaced, you don’t have to accept the first offer that the adjuster makes.  If you ask for more money, be prepared to back it up with facts that substantiate your request.

To make the process as painless as possible, provide requested information quickly and keep in communication with your claims adjuster.  Though they work for the insurance company, they also usually want to resolve each of their cases as quickly as possible.