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Settling an Accident Claim with an Auto Insurance Company

By Compuquotes Team on March 27th, 2008

Auto Insurance

If you have been involved in an accident one of the things you may need to do is to tell your insurance company about the accident, even if you aren't going to make a claim. If you do make a claim with your insurance company, settling the accident claim can be tricky, especially if the vehicle was written off, or 'totaled'.

To start, you need to know what your insurance will cover and what it won't before you get into a collision. You should do this as soon as you get your insurance policy papers from your insurance company. If you have any questions regarding your coverage, call and ask your insurance agent right away.

When you are involved in a collision, ensure that you get the name, address, phone number, driver's license number, and insurance information from the other drivers involved in the collision and give them the same information on yourself. You should have a disposable camera with you in your vehicle to take pictures of the damages to all of the vehicles involved in the collision. Write down the specifics of the accident right away as well. Make sure you get the name, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses to the collision. File a police report and get a file number for your case.

Call your insurance company and give them all the information you have on the collision, including the accident report number from the police. You should call them and give them this information even if you aren't ruled at fault in the collision. Your insurance company will discuss the matters with the other party's insurance company if your car is to be repaired or replaced.

If you are found at fault in the collision, you need to work closely with your insurance company to have your vehicle and the other vehicles repaired. It will depend on the type of insurance you have and the limits and deductibles on those limits as to how everything will proceed. Assuming you have collision insurance, you will have to pay your deductible in order to have your vehicle replaced or repaired.

There's more to an insurance claim than just having your vehicle repaired or replaced, especially if you are not at fault in the collision. If you were hurt or injured in the collision, you could be entitled to a settlement for your injuries. It is best to allow your insurance company to deal with the other person's insurance company on these matters.

If you don't agree with the outcome of your insurance claim, you do not have to accept it. You can ask for a third party arbitrator to step in to help settle the claim. Allowing your insurance company to fight on your behalf with the other insurance company of the guilty party is the best way to go regardless of a dispute or not.

Sometimes, you may have to pay for the arbitrator yourself, but if you really feel that you aren't getting what is owed to you for your vehicle, its damages, repairs or injury settlement, it may be well worth it to hire a third party. Your insurance company will strive to be fair, so be sure to sit down and discuss your issues with them before you hire a third party.

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