February 19th, 2014
Let's say you've done right by your vehicle and state law by having car insurance over the years to protect yourself and your auto from financial disaster in the event of an accident. After years of perfect driving, someone rear-ends you, resulting in significant damage to your car. Even if it's not your fault, you could be in an accident and may need to file a claim to your insurance company. While you are already covered, it could be several weeks after you file a claim before you receive any sort of compensation or reimbursement for the accident. Here are a few ways you might be able to speed up the auto insurance claim process:
If you have decided to file a claim for damages, be sure to do whatever your car insurance company tells you to do. They won't ask you to do anything outrageous like send in a video reenactment of the accident, but if they ask you for any financial information or photos from the scene of the accident, you should follow through as soon as you can to get the ball rolling. If you neglect to do something the insurance company asks you to do, there's a good chance your insurance claim will be stalled from moving forward.
The first thing to do is to report the claim to your insurance company right away. Be honest about the situation, even if you caused an accident. Not being truthful to an insurance company is a dangerous route to take that could result in more serious consequences. Before you do anything to your vehicle, like take it to a mechanic, call your insurance company and follow their instructions exactly.
Photograph the scene
If you are involved in an accident with another driver, it is important to be proactive about the situation by taking some photographs of the scene and the damage. It is very common for two drivers to write down each other's insurance information and be on their way, but they are overlooking the important step of documenting what happened. Otherwise, there is no way to tell exactly what occurred.
Taking pictures of both cars, the scene of the accident and even the other driver's insurance card will reduce the amount of work an insurance company will need to do. These steps could reduce the amount of time they need to spend sorting through a claim.
It seems like everyone has a smartphone, young and old. Insurance companies have come to utilize the technology of smartphone applications by providing their policyholders with mobile ways to file a claim or provide information. Using the app to document an accident can get the claim to the insurance company sooner and ensure that all the necessary information is collected at the scene of the accident. If there is no app available or it is not compatible with a certain mobile phone, drivers can also often submit a claim online. Using an online portal could speed up the process tremendously.