Accidents happen and when they do, you will find yourself reaching out to your car insurance company for support and guidance. If this is your first time making a claim, there a few things you should know to help make the process as easy as possible.
1. Notify your car insurance company right away of any accident or loss. This is usually a requirement of the policy contract. Remember to gather as much information at the scene in regards to any other person/vehicle involve in the loss. Keep in mind, even if the police come to the scene, they may not take down all of the necessary information your car insurance company would need or the report may not be ready for weeks after the loss. This is why it is so important to exchange or obtain as much information on the spot as possible. Do not wait for the police report before reporting your claim.
2, Know you policy. If you plan on using your own Youi insurance coverage, you will likely have to pay a deductible to the repair facility once your vehicle repairs are complete. Even if you are not at fault for an accident, if there is any question of liability, it is generally best to use your own coverage and pay your deductible to get your car fixed asap, especially if it is not driveable. Once liability has been sorted out, if the other car insurance carrier has accepted liability for the loss, you will get your deductible back down the road (a process known as subrogation).
3. You have a duty to mitigate your damages.Simply put, you have a duty to mitigate any outstanding expenses associated with your claim. Your car insurance carrier will advise you of such things as limits on rental coverage, towing and storage. Keep in mind that if you do not do your part to mitigate costs associated with your claim, you could be on the hook for those excessive costs, even if you are not at fault. Some examples include putting yourself in a luxury rental car and letting your vehicle sit at a storage location longer than is reasonable.
Remember, car insurance companies are the experts when it comes to handling claims. Trusting your insurance carrier to guide you through the process will ensure you get through this stressful time as easily as possible.