You were in a car accident. Now your car is damaged. The good news is that your vehicle is insured. All you have to do is figure out how to work with the insurance company to have the repair work done so you can get your car up and running again.
The even better news is that in most cases, the insurance companies aren’t difficult to work with, and after most accidents, they’re reasonable about handling claims.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Your insurance agent isn’t sitting beside a police scanner, waiting to hear if one of their clients has gotten into a traffic accident. It’s your responsibility to alert them to the situation. The sooner you do this, the better. If possible, consult a car accident attorney before you make the call.
While you are responsible for letting the insurance company know about the accident, you should also limit the amount of information you provide. While your agent needs to know some details about the case, providing too much information could hurt your claim.
During the initial discussion with your insurance agent, the information you should provide includes:
- The time and date of the accident
- The location of the accident
- The type of accident (was it a car vs car, car vs pedestrian, car vs wildlife, etc)
- How many vehicles were involved in the accident
It’s important to understand that everything you say to your insurance agent is a piece of evidence they’ll use when trying to determine if they’ll honor your claim. The greater the damages, the more they’ll pay attention when you speak. The less you say, the better. The best thing you can do when talking to your insurance agent about a claim is to limit your responses to yes and no whenever possible. If you’re not sure how to respond to a specific question, your best course of action is to decide not to answer at all.
Collect Repair Estimates
One of the things that vary from one insurance company to the next is estimates. Most agencies will want to inspect the car before making a decision about how they want to handle the claim. Others may request that you have a very specific body shop inspect the vehicle. Still, other insurance companies will ask that you collect a few different estimates.
Pay careful attention to what the insurance company says and follow their instructions to the letter. Since this is the point where everyone finds out how much it will cost to repair, do not authorize any body shop to start work on your vehicle. You’re simply after an estimate.
Have Your Car Repaired
Once the insurance company has approved the estimate, it’s time to have your vehicle repaired. Stay in touch with the mechanic/body shop that is handling the repair work. It’s not unusual for a mechanic to start working on a vehicle and find additional damage that wasn’t considered in the original estimate. When this happens, the insurance company will have to be notified about the changes. Provided they are connected to the original accident, the additional cost should be approved.
A Few Things to Consider
Getting your car repaired following an accident is always your first priority, but don’t get so wrapped up in the repairs that you fail to consider the other things your insurance company may pay for. Many people also pay a little extra each month for towing and rental insurance.
Check your policy. If you do carry this type of insurance and also require one or both of these things, make sure you submit the invoices to your insurance company.
The other thing to keep in mind is your deductible. When the accident isn’t your fault, the deductible isn’t much of a concern, however, if you are at fault, you will have to pay the deductible. If the repairs your car requires are less than the deductible, it’s probably in your best interest to pay for the repairs out of your pocket and leave the insurance company out of the equation.
Having Trouble With Your Insurance Company? Contact a Colorado Accident Lawyer Today!
In a perfect world, your car insurance company would not give you any trouble when you file a claim. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and sometimes insurance companies don’t do what’s expected. Sometimes they take forever to pay a claim. Other times they refuse to honor the claim.
When this happens, you need to take legal action, and that means utilizing the services of a reputable Colorado accident attorney from Springs Law Group. In many cases, just finding out that you’ve hired an accident lawyer is enough to convince the insurance company that they should honor your auto repair claim. In other cases, your attorney will actually have to take legal action and file a civil case against the insurance company.
A good accident attorney in Colorado handles all the details of your claim against the insurance agent, which allows you to focus all your attention on putting your life back together.