Leif Olson, Car Insurance Writer
You can file a car insurance claim online or through an app with some insurance companies, and most major auto insurance providers have a 24/7 phone line for filing claims. Be sure to contact your agent or insurer as soon as possible after an accident, even though you don’t have to file a claim immediately.
How to File a Car Insurance Claim
1. Immediately contact your insurance company
Even if there is only minor damage, it is important to inform your agent or insurer that you have been in an accident and may soon be filing a claim. Otherwise, filing a claim could be more difficult later on.
2. Fill out the “proof-of-claim” form
Your agent or insurer will provide you with a proof-of-claim form (also called a proof-of-loss form), usually through an online portal. You will need the following information to complete the form: your policy number, which covered vehicle was in an accident, who the driver was, where and when the accident occurred, the severity of the accident, and the contact information of all drivers involved.
3. Get in touch with your insurance adjuster
An insurance adjuster is assigned to your claim by the insurance company, and they will ask you for additional information about the accident. The adjuster will also either inspect your car themselves or ask you to take the car to a certified repair shop to be inspected there.
4. Wait for your adjuster’s response
Your adjuster will evaluate your claim and may make an initial payment.
5. Accept Payment
Your adjuster will authorize a final payment, which will be made to you directly or to the repair shop where your car is being fixed. You will then sign a release accepting the payment as proper compensation for the claim.
To better understand which insurance company you should file your claim with or the types of claims you should file in different situations, check out WalletHub’s guide to car insurance claims.
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