How Car Insurance Companies Handle Car Accident Claims

sri lanka car insurance article by chathumi dakshina


Immediately After the Accident
If you're involved in an accident, "The first thing to do is let your insurance company know you were in an accident and provide all the specifics of it," Salvatore says. "From the second of the accident, keep good records." Use your smartphone (or keep a notebook in your glovebox) and write down the time, date, plate number, make and model of their car, their registration information, license number, name, insurance company and contact information.
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If the police are on the scene, Salvatore says, take their names and badge numbers. Get the names of any witnesses and note whether emergency medical personnel were called. "Photos are helpful. Take pictures of the car and the license plate," she says. "If the claim is straightforward, you may not need any of it, but if a problem occurs, you need all the information possible." Again, with the prevalence of smartphones these days, this is all quite easy to do.
From filing the claim to resolving it, every insurance company's methods are different. However, the essentials of the process are fairly standard. You'll only see part of the process, though. All negotiations between insurance companies about payments and reimbursements will be carried on behind the scenes.
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Filing Your Claim
As with Cutler's case, it's standard for your insurance carrier to call soon after you report an accident. During that call, "We'll match the person to their policy, determine what happened in the accident, find out about any injuries, the extent of damage to both vehicles and get some demographic information," says Mike Flato, a process business leader for Progressive Insurance. "We'll make sure everyone is OK; if not, what happened and then who'll handle the medical claims."

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After a claim is filed, your insurance company assigns you a claims adjustor, who is your contact from then on. Adjustors coordinate teams that look at medical reports, investigate the accident, speak with witnesses, view the scene, examine the vehicle damage, manage all the repairs and any medical treatments, check all coverages (how much your policy pays for medical injuries and property damages) and ultimately determine fault.
"The claims process is the business of the insurance company," says Salvatore. "Every situation is different, and the better organized you are, the easier the claims process is."
While adjustors work, medical treatment and auto repairs start immediately, with each insurance company covering its own driver's injuries and property damages. This process of "making you whole" is known as indemnification. Your insurance company indemnifies you, not the other way around. Later, after the insurance companies assess fault, they will negotiate to determine which one will reimburse the other for claims paid.
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