For those who have ever been in a car accident, you know that it can be a frightening experience. Even if you walk away unharmed, things can get even worse if you receive an insurance claim from another driver involved in the accident. At American Auto Insurance, we know all about vehicle insurance for Illinois drivers. We want to make sure that you feel comfortable with the entire insurance claim process so that it never takes you by surprise. Read on to learn more about insurance claims and what you can do if one ever comes your way.
What Is a Car Insurance Claim?
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A car insurance claim is essentially a way for someone involved in an accident to seek compensation for any repairs or treatment that they may require as a result of the collision. Depending on the nature and severity of the accident, a third party like a pedestrian, cyclist, or another driver may rack up extensive injuries or damage to their vehicle. If you’re responsible for the accident, you may be liable for these payments. Luckily, though, your auto insurance can help protect you from a massive price tag.
What Are the Types of Insurance Claims?
There are a few different types of claims that you may encounter after an accident. If you weren’t responsible for the accident, you may file a non-fault claim against the other driver. If you were solely responsible, you might receive an at-fault claim, meaning that you would be responsible for the damage.
If you and another party are both partially at fault for an accident, you may receive a partial-fault claim. This can make the process a bit more complicated since your insurer and the other driver’s insurer will have to determine who is responsible for what. These claims often occur if one party chooses to dispute the original claim. While this can all seem overwhelming, your insurer will be there for you to help you navigate this process and to advocate on your behalf.
How Do You Know if Someone Files a Claim Against You?
If you get into an accident with another driver, cyclist, or pedestrian, you’re legally expected to exchange insurance information so that your insurer can figure out responsibility. Once you do this, you can expect to receive a notification from your insurance company about the claim once they receive it. At this time, your insurer will walk you through your options and next steps.
Even if you didn’t exchange insurance information after an accident, you may still receive a claim if the other party copied down your license plate number. From there, they may submit your information to their insurance company to help them seek compensation. In general, though, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be surprised by a claim against you as your insurance company should let you know as soon as they receive it. The only exception to this rule is if you’ve already alerted your insurer to the accident and they’re already working on your behalf.
What Happens After You Receive a Claim?
When you receive a claim, your insurer should go over the details of the claim and your next steps. In general, though, you will have the option to review the claim and determine whether you agree with its contents. That is, whether you agree that you were at fault for the accident. If you do, you can choose not to dispute the claim and your insurer will cover damages based on the terms of your auto coverage policy.
At American Auto Insurance, this coverage includes damages to the other vehicles and any medical bills from the other party. In some cases, your premium may go up after an accident, but this can depend on your specific policy and driving record. Your insurance agent will be happy to answer any questions you have throughout the process to help you feel comfortable and supported.
If you receive a claim and you feel like it inaccurately reflects the cause of the accident, you can always dispute the claim. This might happen in a situation where both drivers were at fault, such as if you exited a parking lot without looking and ran into another driver who was speeding. You may also dispute the claim if you believe that you weren’t responsible at all for the accident.
Once you dispute a claim, you’ll want to gather as much evidence as you can to help show who was at fault. This can include any photographs of the damage, dashcam or CCTV footage, witness statements, or police reports, if applicable. While it can be disorienting after an accident, try to document as much evidence as you can to help later in the case of a claim dispute.
Once you’ve gathered the evidence, your insurance company will contact the other party’s insurer to discuss fault and compensation. At this point, you can wait for your insurer to let you know the results of this discussion. If they require any additional evidence along the way, your insurer may reach out to you at any point during the process.
American Auto Insurance Can Help You Manage Any Claims
An insurance claim can be scary, but luckily you know that you won’t have to handle it alone. At American Auto Insurance, we have our customers’ backs at every stage of the compensation process. We’ll work hard for you to help determine who was really at fault in a fair and balanced way. We’ll also be sure to keep you informed at every step, answering any questions you have and providing support when you need it most.
If you do end up being held responsible for the accident, you can rest easy there, too. With your great auto coverage, know that we’ll pay for any damages to your and the other driver’s vehicle or any required medical bills. That is why you have auto insurance, after all.
If you’re ready to learn more about a local auto insurance provider who will always have your back through any accident or other auto issue, feel free to contact us today. Our expert staff is ready to help you find the policy and coverage that works for you and your budget. We’re also happy to explain the insurance claim process to you or walk you through any other questions you may have. At American Auto, we believe that insurance should be clear and helpful. Let us show you how hard we’ll work to make that belief a reality.