Knowing what to do and how to file a car insurance claim after an accident can make the situation less stressful.
Follow these top tips to help you get through the process:
When should you file a car insurance claim?
Filing a car insurance claim after an accident is not always needed, but you should do it if:
Your vehicle or the other driver’s car has significant damage.
Someone is injured.
You think the other driver may be trying to commit insurance fraud.
Also, remember that if someone is injured, there is property damage over $2,000, or there may be a crime, such as impaired driving, involved, you are legally required to contact the police.
When should you consider not filing a car insurance claim?
If the damage to your car is possibly only a bit more expensive than your deductible.
If you can afford to pay for the damage.
You damaged your car yourself, for example, by backing into a tree or pole.
If you were directly or indirectly involved, stay at the scene of the accident.
If someone is injured, call 911. Help the injured person if their needs are apparent, for example, they need to be pulled from a burning car. If you do not know how to help the injured person, do not touch them unless you have medical training.
If there are no injuries and it is safe to do so, move your car to a safe location off the road. Turn your hazard signals on to alert other drivers.
Write down the other car’s license plate, make, model, and year. Take down the other driver’s contact information, license number, insurance company, and policy number. Ask witnesses for their names and phone numbers. Provide your information to the other driver and witnesses.
Do not apologize or admit fault and make a statement only to a police officer.
Do not offer or accept a payment. Contact your insurance agent or a lawyer before taking a payment or signing a release.
Keep records and receipts for medical expenses, injuries, property damage, and car repairs.
What to do if you are in a car accident
Your Western Coast car insurance expert will answer any questions you may have about filing a car insurance claim or what to do if you are in a car accident.
How to file a car insurance claim
When you file a car insurance claim, it will fall under collision, third party liability, or comprehensive insurance. Follow these steps to file a claim.
Report the accident to the police or a collision reporting center if needed.
Contact your insurance company and give them the details of the accident. They will need to know who was driving and if there were passengers, the time and location of the accident, what happened and how much damage there is. They will ask for the other driver’s name and insurance information and contact information for witnesses. You will need to provide a police report if the damage exceeds $2000 or there was an injury and the police officer’s name and badge number if police were present.
Understand what your policy covers and ask your insurer about details you are unsure about. Your third party liability insurance covers injuries and property damage to others caused by you, collision insurance covers damage to your car, and comprehensive insurance covers things the other coverages do not. Know what kind of insurance you have and what it covers.
Answer questions asked by an adjuster. Your adjuster will explain what your insurer will cover.
Get an estimate for repairs and schedule them.
Your insurer will close your claim once your car is repaired.
Western Coast Insurance Services Ltd. is a wholly-owned division of Western Financial Group Ltd. Insurance products are underwritten by certain licensed insurance companies and are only
available throughout British Columbia, Canada.