Car accident claims involve a diverse range of situations, varying from claims that include property damage to those that focus on medical expenses. There are also various factors considered such as the nature of the accident and the main culprit. This makes the exact process of car accident investigation hard to detail out. However, let’s take a look at general investigation practices commonly applied by car insurance companies.
Investigating the Claim
Upon filing your claim, a representative of the auto insurance firm will contact you to gather further information. Most of the time, an insurance or claims adjuster will be the one to talk to you. The insurance adjuster is responsible for investigating claims on behalf of the provider.
It is the job of the claims adjuster to find out everything about the accident. You’ll be asked numerous questions, so the auto insurance adjuster can gain a complete understanding of the accident.
The adjuster may ask you to submit a copy of the police report and sign a medical release form to view your records. He may also visit the site of accident, talk to witnesses, contact the other driver involved, inspect and evaluate your car for damages, take pictures of your vehicle and contact your medical providers.
There are lots of factors involved in every accident claim. The claims adjuster will examine every aspect to determine what exactly happened and which party was at fault. Your policy will be reviewed to ensure that your claim is covered and to check if the expenses are within your coverage limits.
You may be asked to take your car to an approved body shop for a repair estimate. However, you’re free to choose your preferred body shop. But if the insurance company deems the charge too high, then you’ll have to pay the difference. Depending on your insurance firm and the type of coverage you carry, your provider may offer to manage your rental car accommodations or get your car towed if necessary. Once you decide which shop will do the repairs and your insurer approves your claim, the repair phase will then begin.
After reviewing all essential information, the claims adjuster will determine the validity of your claim as well as the amount your insurer needs to pay. For claims involving property damage only, the repairs will be done at a shop approved by the insurer. The bill will go directly to your provider, which means that you’re not going to receive any payment from the carrier. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay any applicable deductibles.
In some cases, the adjuster will give you a settlement offer, which includes a breakdown of how much your insurer will pay you. If you’re lucky, the company will pay for the entire amount of your expenses. Remember that there are other available options in the event that you can’t reach an agreement with the claims adjuster. You can choose to go for mediation or arbitration, or take your appeal to a small claims court or the adjuster’s supervisor.
The investigation process can be tough and confusing, so make sure not to hesitate in asking questions. You’re paying those insurance premiums year by year for unexpected accidents, and so it’s your right to know what’s happening after you’ve filed a claim. A good insurance company will be able to handle the situation professionally, prioritizing your welfare especially when it comes to medical-related injury claims.
Dennis Gilroy is a professional insurance agent who blogs in his spare time. Making sure his readers have the best information to make good decisions is important to him. Visit autoinsurance.US for more information.
This article is a guest post. If you would like to write for Money Soldiers, you may visit the Write for Us menu for details.