Many of us share the experience of having to file a claim on our auto insurance or home insurance, whether as a homeowner, condo owner or tenant. Whether we have been in a vehicle accident, suffered property damage, been at fault for someone else's damage or something else, it is sometimes difficult to remember what we must do before we notify our insurance company. The following tips should help you the next time you find yourself needing to file a claim.
What To Do When You Have An Accident
- Protect your auto and any other property from further damage
- Promptly call the police if: someone is injured, damage is extensive, your vehicle has been stolen, or if you need their assistance.
- NEVER admit liability or sign a statement unless authorized by your insurance company.
- Obtain as much information from the other person (if applicable) as possible to include: name, address, phone numbers (work & home), year, make, model of their vehicle, damages incurred, their insurance information, driver license number any other pertinent information.
- Make note of time and date of accident, how fast the vehicles were traveling, any other property damage other than the vehicles.
- Take down any witness name, their phone numbers
- Get police report number, officer’s name, etc.
- Report the claim to your agent or your closest branch office as soon as possible. With some insurance companies, failure to report the claim as soon as possible can result in an unconditional discharge of coverage. Even if you believe you are not at fault and do not wish for a claim to be filed, you need to contact your Agent so they can make a note of the incident.
- Make a note of details of the claim -- when , where, how and why.
- Make note of estimated damages, if known.
- If you have a theft, make an itemized list of the items that were taken & any assessed values.
- Call your Agent or local branch office as soon as possible.
Consider creating a Home Inventory so that you have a complete accounting of all your home's contents and store it in a safe place, updating it as needed, so that you have the information at hand if/when you need to file a claim for theft or damage.