Car Accident: Insurance Claims - Do's and Don'ts
If you have been involved in any kind of traffic accident, whether a car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident, you will inevitably have to deal with your insurance company as well as the insurance agents of others involved in the accident. Filing an insurance claim and handling insurance adjusters can be quite a task. Here are some essential dos and don’ts to remember, regarding insurance claims.
- Do contact your insurance company as soon after the accident or injury as possible. Unless you have some very serious injuries to take care off, your insurance agent is the first person to call in case of an accident or injury.
- Do take time to read your insurance policy and understand it. This will help you in determining what coverage your policy allows so as to make the necessary claims.
- Do your best to get as many details of the accident as possible. This will include taking pictures of the damaged vehicles and any injuries sustained. Also do try to take down the names and numbers of any witnesses to the accident who may later be able to help prove your insurance claim.
- Do make a note of the insurance details of any other person or vehicle involved in the accident.
- Do keep a written account of any conversations and dealings with the insurance officers, agents, and any other people involved in the claims process.
- Do save receipts and bills for any and all expenses relating to your insurance claim, bills for any repair work on the damaged vehicle, and also any medical costs incurred on the treatment of any injuries that are covered by your insurance policy.
- Do be frank and honest with the insurance investigators so that your claim is not denied for fraudulent reasons.
- Do check if you have more than one insurance policy that provides coverage for the particular accident or injury. Many people have multiple insurance policies under which they may be able to file valid insurance claims. So, do take the time to review all your insurance policies.
- Don’t admit to any kind of liability on your part but just stick to the facts without expressing any opinion. The ascertaining of liability is affected by different circumstances. It is not your job to admit fault but is the job of the insurance investigators to gather all the necessary facts and evidence and then determine liability.
- Don’t give anything in writing to any insurance officers, whether your own or the other party’s, if you do not understand any part of your policy or claim.
- Don’t let any time limits to file your insurance claim run out. All insurance companies require you to file an insurance claim within specified periods of time after the accident or injury. So make sure you don’t disregard this time limit or else your claim may not be considered valid.
- Don’t take everything that your insurance agent tells you as the last word, especially regarding the value of your claim or a settlement. Insurance companies always try to give you estimates of losses that are lower than your actual losses. Don’t just accept their estimates without doing some estimation of your own.
- Don’t sign any document that is a release or a waiver of any kind. If you are not sure about what you are being asked to sign, consult an attorney for help.
- Don’t take any check as a full and final payment unless you are certain that it is a fair compensation for your losses.
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