Understanding the Insurance Claims Process After an Accident

Understanding the Insurance Claims Process After an Accident

Whether you live downtown in a metropolitan city or in the suburbs, most people rely on their cars to get around. However, due to the increased number of vehicles, the roads and highways are dangerously congested and car accidents are almost inevitable. 

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Depending on the cause of the crash, there may be serious car damage and victims suffering from severe physical injuries with fatal consequences. For instance, according to statistics, in 2020, more than 72,000 people suffered injuries or impairments from car accidents in Canada.

Despite having to deal with the traumatic aftermath of a car accident, people also have to go through an extensive insurance claims process to pursue compensation for damages they sustain. For many, this is the most frustrating and overwhelming task following a crash as there are several steps you need to take to file a claim properly.

To help you along, in this article we are explaining how the claims process works and what you should do to get the compensation you deserve.

Report the accident

The first step you need to complete following an accident is to file a report with your broker, agent, or insurance company as soon as possible. Failing to do so within a reasonable amount of time can reduce the chances of your claim not being honored and you not getting the compensation you deserve. 

If you aren’t sure how to report a car accident, you should consult with your insurance broker and ask for guidance to navigate you through the process. You will be required to give them the following information to begin the auto insurance claims process:

  • The vehicle damages
  • Who was driving
  • Location and time of the accident
  • A detailed description of the accident
  • Names, contact information, and insurance of all parties involved 

Determine fault

The next step in the insurance claims process is determining who is at fault in the accident. In general, someone is always found to be at fault for the collision, whether partially or fully. Insurance companies take several factors into consideration, including police report details, physical evidence, and even weather conditions, to determine who is responsible for the collision and their degree.

For example, if your insurance company finds that you are more than 0% at fault in the accident, then that will be included in your driver’s record which can further affect your insurance rates. For further information, make sure you check with your insurance agent, broker, or company to confirm how your rates will be affected. 

Get reimbursed for your car accident claim

The part most people look forward to in the insurance claims process is reimbursement. This is the part where your insurance company decides how much they will pay you for the damages and injuries sustained in the accident. They will take several things into account, including:

  • The amount of liability insurance coverage
  • Fault for the cause of the accident
  • The severity of the damages and injuries
  • Strength of evidence
  • The medical expenses
  • Out-of-pocket expenses

Typically, you will receive the cash value of the vehicle when you have your accident or the price for the repairs it needs to undergo. In most cases, people receive whichever amount is lower. If you need help, speak to your claims adjuster to give you a more precise estimate of your reimbursement. 

Get your vehicle repaired

If your car sustained damages in the accident, you need to check with your insurance broker first to confirm whether the damages are covered by your insurance. If they are, you and your insurer need to know how much the repairs will cost. This involves contacting a repair shop to give you an estimate which your insurance company may accept or choose to appraise the damage.

Also, it is important to note that you have the right to choose a repair shop you like, but know that the responsibility for a satisfactory repair job rests with you and not the insurer. That’s why it is important that you do your research carefully and select a reputable shop. 

If your insurance company recommends a repair shop, then make sure you gather all information and ask to see a written guarantee. 

Final thoughts

Getting involved in a car accident can undoubtedly be a traumatic experience. However, things can get even more complicated and overwhelming when you file an insurance claim and decide to pursue compensation for the damages and injuries sustained in the crash. To gain a better understanding, refer to our post and learn how the claims process works following an accident.


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