If you've never had to file an auto insurance claim before, the prospect of having to file one may seem a bit daunting. Hopefully, you'll never actually be in a situation where you need to file an auto accident claim—but if you are, it's best to be prepared. While most insurance adjusters are professionals at processing claims in a timely manner, there are some steps you can personally take to ensure there aren't any delays.
Always Request a Police Report
You should always file a police report for a car accident, no matter how minor the damage may seem to be. Some insurance companies will require a police report as documentation for an accident claim, but even if yours doesn't, it can certainly speed up the process to have one. A police report will outline specific details of the accident that may come in handy for your adjuster. In some states, a police report may even determine who is at fault.
Keep Detailed Documentation
The more documentation you can gather from the scene of the accident, the fewer pieces of the puzzle your insurance adjuster will need to fill in. Take photos of the accident scene (not just of your vehicle, but of the surroundings and other vehicles involved, as well) and gather information from any witnesses. Be sure to obtain the insurance and contact information of any other drivers involved in the accident.
Call Your Agent ASAP
You can't get the ball rolling on your claim until you file the official paperwork, so be sure to contact your auto insurance agent as soon as possible after the accident. Obviously, if you need to be hospitalized for your injuries, you may be unable to report your accident right away. This is understandable and your health and safety should always be a top priority. Still, don't delay in contacting your agent if you don't have reason to.
Don't Delay Gathering Estimates
You also won't want to put off getting repair estimates for your vehicle after an accident; you have the right to choose any repair shop you prefer for your vehicle, and having those estimates already in writing will help your insurance adjuster process your claim more quickly.
A little organization and proactive action on your part can help you get your auto accident claim processed as quickly as possible. From there, you can hopefully put your accident behind you in no time.
For more information, contact an auto insurance company.