Checklist For Dealing With Auto Accident Insurance Claims

You’ve just been in a car accident. You’re feeling stressed but you need to deal with your auto accident insurance claim right away. Don’t worry. Just take a look at this checklist to make sure you’ve covered your bases.

  • When an accident occurs, stay at the site. Call your insurance company’s 800 number ASAP. It’s even better if the police are there to give info and help out with details. Try to stick to the facts instead of giving your opinion. You should let your insurance company know immediately if you are sued.
  • Before an accident strikes, you should be familiar with your policy and what it covers. Make sure you know how much liability coverage you have and what your deductible is.
  • Note the following: date, time, street, city, weather conditions, driving direction, speed, license plates, driver’s licenses. The other driver must, by law (Vehicle Code Section 16025), give you their insurance information. If they don’t, they may be fined up to $250 dollars plus penalty assessments.
  • Get a Police Report. At the site, you can ask the investigating officer for one. If you can, take pictures of the vehicles and any injuries. Get witnesses to give you their info in case you need their testimonies later.
  • Your insurance company should agree to pay before you make any repairs. Get all of the agreements on paper. Also, check to see if there is a specific repair shop you have to go to. Keep all receipts and bills for expenses related to the accident (repairs, medical costs, etc).
  • Check to see if you have more than one policy that covers your accident. If your car is totaled, keep in mind that your car’s value may have depreciated.

An auto accident can be a traumatizing experience. Don’t make it worse than it needs to be. Keep yourself informed in case it ever happens.

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