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What to do when making a car insurance claim

If you're part of a motor vehicle accident, it won't be long before you're on the phone with your car insurance company. While filing a claim as soon as possible would be in your best interest, there are many steps you can take up front to avoid unnecessary trouble in the future.

Here are some of the many things you should do when making a car insurance claim:

  • Don't delay: Once you receive treatment and are able to contact your agent, do so. If you're unable to take this step, ask a family member or friend if they can assist you. There are limitations in place for how long you have to file a claim, so you don't want to wait too long.
  • Review your policy: Don't rely on your car insurance agent to provide you with information on your policy. Instead, review it yourself to ensure that you understand what you've been paying for. There's nothing wrong with asking questions, but you should always take the time to inform yourself.
  • Take notes: Every time you speak with an insurance company representative, regardless of what's said, take notes that include the name of the person, their contact information and the details discussed. It may sound like a waste of time up front, but it can serve you in the future, should there be a disagreement.
  • Don't lie: This doesn't mean you have to admit fault, but there's never a good time to lie to your insurance agent. The best thing you can do is stick to the facts and nothing else. Also, if you're uncomfortable answering a question, don't feel pressured into doing so. It's okay to say you don't know the answer or aren't comfortable providing an answer.
  • Keep records of all your expenses: After a car accident, you could face expenses for medical care, rental car, lodging and food. It's important to keep receipts if you want to receive reimbursement in the future.

These are the types of steps you can take to ease your mind when making a car insurance claim.

If you do these things, you'll feel better about protecting your legal rights. Conversely, you're also putting yourself in position to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and property damage.

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