If a person has been in an automobile accident, they may need to file an insurance claim. However, before doing so, they should decide if it is necessary. If they can pay for the damage without filing a claim, they should do so. Filing a claim will most likely mean their insurance premium will go up. If it is necessary to file a claim, they will need to include an insurance claim letter.
The claimant should remember that there are statutes of limitations in different states for filing an injury claim, so they should not wait too long to file. In order to make a successful claim on the insurance company, specific steps need to be taken after a car accident whether or not the claimant is at fault. If the claimant doesn’t take these steps, the claim may not be taken seriously. The first thing to do is to determine the extent of the damages. This includes physical injuries as well as damage to the cars and any other property. It is recommended that someone take several photos of the accident from different angles.
Whether the accident is serious or minor, it is important to file a police report. The drivers should not leave the scene of the accident before the police arrive. The accident should be discussed only with the police. No one should admit fault at the scene of the accident. The people involved should talk about the accident with the police and their insurance agent only. The next steps for the people involved are:
• Make sure they get the information that will be required to file a claim. This includes the names, address and phone of the other party and any passengers or bystanders who witnessed the accident. License plate number is not enough. The vehicle identification number (VIN) number is essential.
• The insurance agent should be called as soon as possible after the accident. It may be good to call while the police are still at the scene, because they can give the insurance agent accurate information.
• The insurance claim should be filed as soon as possible. Once the claim is filed, the insurance company may call the insured, especially if there is a dispute about the accident. If there is a call, the insured should document the conversation and get the name of the person who called.
The claimant will need to fill out the forms given by the insurance company for filing a claim, but before officially filing the claim, the insured should write an insurance claim letter to accompany the claim. The letter should be short and to the point. Without giving too many details, the following points should be stressed:
• Who was at fault with supporting evidence such as a police report
• Specific information about any injuries and the medical reports that prove it
• The expenses that the person had to pay because of the accident. This may include car repair, medical bills, lost wages and travel expenses. Any receipts should be enclosed with the letter
• A claim demand of a certain amount of money that the claimant requires to settle the claim. It is often recommended to demand more than the claim is worth, so the claimant is in a good position for negotiating the settlement
By Andre Bradley