Common Questions About Auto Insurance Claims

Insurance is a fact of life today. Whether you believe it’s beneficial or you think it is all a big scam, you have to have it. It’s the law. Nearly all American drivers have auto insurance, but many haven’t actually had to file a claim. While this is a good thing for both your safety and your insurance rates, there may come a day when you will have to deal with the claims process. Since you don’t deal with it often, you will probably have questions. Here are some of the most common questions and answers.

Do I need to call the police after an accident?

The simple answer is yes. Whether the accident involves injuries and major damage or if you have a minor fender bender, you should always call the police. The best way to ensure that your claim will be handled timely and correctly is to have a police report. The only way to have a police report is to have the police on the scene. This will ensure that the story doesn’t get twisted around later on in the process.

Will my insurance rates go up if I have an accident? Will my policy be canceled?

Depending on the circumstances of the accident, your rates may go up. This is especially likely if you have had multiple accidents. If this is your first accident and it is proven that you were not at fault, it is unlikely that your rates will go up. However, multiple accidents even if you are not at fault make you a high risk driver and your insurance company is likely to raise your rates or even cancel your policy. Your policy may also be canceled due to an accident if the damage costs exceed your insurance limits. It is a good idea to make sure you have enough liability coverage.

Do I file a claim with my insurance company or with the other driver’s insurance company?

If the other driver is at fault, you should file the claim with their insurance company. However, you still need to inform your company as well. Your insurance company may reimburse you faster and will then pursue the other company for the amount owed. In this case, your company may withhold your deductible amount until the other company pays them.

Is my car covered if a friend drives it?

Generally, anyone with a valid driver’s license who has your permission to drive your car is covered. There may be some limitations to this with certain types of policies such as restricted or limited plans, but with most policies your permission is enough. If the driver has his own valid insurance policy, your insurance company will not be primary. The driver’s policy will pay out before yours.

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