If you’ve never filed an auto insurance claim, the first time can be daunting. Not only is it helpful, and calming to understand the process prior to an emergency situation — the more informed a driver is about insurance, the less they’re likely to pay.
It’s not just new drivers or drivers with great records who are easily confused and overwhelmed when they have to make an insurance claim after an accident. Surveys show that most drivers are woefully uninformed about their own insurance policies.
There are even drivers who insist insurance companies are a scam — these drivers often claim to be “very well informed” on car insurance, but often score very low on tests. Additionally, 33% of those respondents were unaware that the law requires insurance, only 36% could identify coverage limits for liability, and 69% thought their driving record was permanent (insurance companies can only factor your driving record as far as about three years back).
It’s a fact that the more a driver knows about their insurance plan and the insurance process as a whole, the better insurance deals they tend to get and the more money they save on average.
So let’s look a little closer at what happens when you file an insurance claim.
Reporting the Accident
Let’s say you’re driving to the local cars and coffee to meet up with friends. It was raining earlier, but the sun came out, the weather warmed up, and so you roll your windows down. You turn the radio up, feeling good about the rest of the afternoon — and that’s when you cross an intersection and another driver careens through a red light, smashing into your front right bumper.
Cars and coffee will need to wait.
Before insurance even crosses your mind, you should be considering the safety of both you and the other driver. You should be out of traffic after authorities have been called and the situation has been resolved.
Once you’ve safely left the scene of the accident, you can reach out to your insurance company. If you are a Classic Auto Insurance customer, you can call 800-375-2075 or complete an online claim form. Our classic and collectible car policies are underwritten by American Modern Insurance Group, a nationally recognized, A+ rated provider of first-choice specialty insurance.
There’s a set of information you’ll need to report, which includes:
- Your auto insurance policy number
- A location the claims adjuster can contact you
- A detailed description of damages or losses
- A list of personal injuries (if any) that occurred
- A list of any emergency services that were called or arrived on scene
- What (if any) temporary repairs you believe are required
From here on out, the insurance company will be working closely with you to settle your claim.
The Adjustment and Inspection Phase
After all of your information has been provided, one of over 150, heavily trained AMIG expert adjusters will take your claim and reach out to you for more information. You’ll be asked to explain the accident, and the adjuster will likely ask specific questions about how and why the accident occurred.
A traditional inspection isn’t always required, but if it is your adjuster will be flexible with you about the time and day that works best for you.
It is also possible that you can use our “video claims resolution tool.” This tool allows you to connect with an adjuster digitally via your mobile device. We understand that this technology is new and have provided a tutorial video below.
Additionally, if you’re in a disaster area, we’ve begun employing aerial remote sensing technology — which can help you get your claims faster.
The Repair Phase
Once you’ve reported to the claims adjuster and (if necessary) completed an inspection, you will be provided a repair estimate. In a lot of cases an estimate and check can be provided right away. Where damage is more severe, on-site inspections may be required to develop a thorough and accurate estimate of the damages. At this point, you can reach out to a contractor or a repair shop to fix your vehicle. Often, your claims adjuster will offer referrals to participating contractors in your area.
Note that if the repair shop offers an estimate higher than your claims adjuster’s estimate, contact your claims adjuster immediately and a solution will be found. Also, you pick the repair shop. If you do not know who should do the repairs, the claims adjuster can assist in finding a quality repair shop.
There is also an option for you gear heads that do your own repairs, the adjuster can work with you in creating an estimate and will pay you to repair your own vehicle.
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
Whether you collect British sports racers or American muscle cars, keep your classic collection safe. Before you head to your next event, protect your investment by having the right kind of insurance coverage. Let Classic Auto Insurance customize a policy to fit your needs. We offer affordable, Agreed Value coverage for a variety of collector, classic and custom vehicles. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff can answer your questions and give you a quote on the spot.