With quite a number of variations in car accident claims, especially with the insurance company involved and the severity of the accident, it may be difficult to detail the exact process through compensation of a claim.
However, there are steps and requirements that are common to all insurers for those involved in accidents and are intending to make a claim. The process for car accident claims is as follows:
1. Collection of Details and Reporting
Immediately after being involved in an accident, it is prudent that you call the police to the accident scene so as to obtain an official record. This should be regardless of the extent of the damage to your car. It is also advisable not to admit any liability as the insurer can be able to determine this from the adjustors’ or police report. You should then proceed to record all relevant information as stipulated in the policy document from the other driver. This information may include: name and identification number, vehicle registration number, the driver’s insurer, etc. To avoid case dismissal on technicalities, you should take photographs of the accident scene and the injuries caused, receipts related to medical care and other miscellaneous costs and a letter from the employer verifying number of lost hours and probable income lost.At this point it is also advisable to have a personal solicitor (lawyer) to help with the settlement incase the insurer proves difficult.
2. Damage and Claims Assessment
After filing the claim with the insurer, a company representative (assessor/adjustor) will contact you to verify all details pertaining to the accident. The adjustor investigates claims for the insurance. In his investigation, he/she may:
- Request that you submit a copy of the accident report from the police.
- Contact the other driver and any other witnesses• Visit the accident scene.
- Inspect and document the extent of damage on your car.
- Contact your doctor for information regarding your injuries and the expenses incurred After all this, the adjuster may take your car to a company approved garage to obtain an estimate on the repair cost or request you to obtain quotes form a shop of your choice. After evaluation, he/she will determine if the claim is valid and how much compensation should be paid.
3. Repair/Claims Settlement
If you have comprehensive insurance, your insurer will settle the claim, although this will be reflected in the no claims bonus depending on whether the money is recovered from the other driver’s insurer. The other driver’s insurer may be liable for any uninsured losses (not covered by your policy).Your insurer will either repair your vehicle or write it off and offer you its market value as compensation.