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How to File an Auto Insurance Claim
If you’re in an automobile accident – or if your car is damaged in a flood or storm – do you know what to do? To receive an insurance settlement for covered losses, you need to file a claim. There are a few things the Insurance Information Institute recommends you do when filing a claim:
- Call your insurance agent as soon as possible to tell them what happened and the extent of the damage. Some policies require notification within a certain timeframe, so don’t delay! Your agent will explain your options, let you know whether the damage to your vehicle is covered and file your claim.
- Document the damage by taking pictures of your vehicle and keeping copies of any bills related to the damage. The more details you can provide in your claim, the better. It might also help to write down the names and phone numbers of anyone you might speak with following an accident.
- Fill out the claim forms carefully. Your agent will let you know what forms or documents you’ll need to support your claim. These may include a “proof of claim” form and a copy of the police report, if your claim is the result of an accident.
- Ask questions. When your claims adjuster assesses the damage, make sure to ask whether the vehicle is a total loss. If the repairs will cost more than your car’s value, you may be offered the vehicle’s current market value minus any deductible that applies.
How can I reduce the cost of my auto insurance?
There are several things you can do to help lower your costs:
- Insuring your home and autos with the same company almost always results in savings on both policies of 10 to 20 percent. Renters are typically eligible for this discount as well.
- Increasing your deductibles on newer cars can be a good option.
- Consider removing comprehensive and collision coverage from vehicles that are 10 years old or older.
- In most states, taking a defensive driver course can result in a discount.
- Take advantage of paid in full options or utilize automatic withdrawal for your premium payments to reduce or eliminate billing fees.
- Be sure that any optional safety features on your vehicles have the appropriate discounts applied to your policy. Standard safety features for your vehicle model are automatically supplied by your vehicle's serial number.
- Some auto insurers will give you a multi-vehicle discount even if you only own one car but also drive a company car.
Your agent is the best source for helping you find all the discounts your company offers.
No matter the challenge, we're here to help.
Call our office at 800-369-2501 or request a quote online to make sure you have the coverage you need.
Bell Insurance Services, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bell Bank. Products and services offered through Bell Insurance are:
Not FDIC Insured | No Bank Guarantee | May Lose Value | Not A Deposit | Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency.