The primary use of auto property claims is to provide financial assistance after an accident or other incident. Auto property claims may cover medical bills associated with bodily injury, cover repair costs for the vehicle, and cover costs to repair or replace property that was lost or damaged during the accident. The items that are covered under auto property claims may vary depending on a number of factors. States and insurance companies determine what costs will be covered by each individual’s insurance after an accident, what costs will be the responsibility of the driver at fault for the accident, and how much money will be allotted for each auto property claim. The amount and types of insurance that are paid for in the monthly or yearly insurance premiums will also influence what damages are covered under the auto property claims.
Prior to Filing Auto Property Claims
There are certain steps that should be taken before filing an auto property claim. Immediately after an accident or incident, the driver should call police and emergency personnel. If there are any injuries, those should be taken care of first. Any hazardous materials or situations should also be resolved before further steps are taken, such as pouring kitty litter over gasoline spills from damaged gas tanks and moving vehicles and debris from traffic.
After immediate concerns are addressed, a police report or incident report should be filed. Witness statements, along with names and phone numbers, should be taken if possible. All parties should be given a copy of the report. Insurance and personal information should be exchanged between drivers at this time as well.
Filing Auto Property Claims
Insurance providers vary in the way that claims can be filed. Many are able to process claims that are submitted over the phone or online, and many auto property claims lines are available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. A police report or incident report is very helpful to have when filing auto property claims, as much of the necessary information will be listed on the forms.
In order to process auto property claims, insurance providers need to know as much information about the accident or incident as possible. Names and insurance information of any individuals involved in the accident must be reported to file an auto property insurance claim properly. The insurance provider will also need to know the location of the accident, the date of the accident, a description of the events surrounding the accident, and any police information if police were called to the scene.
Auto Property Claims Process
After a claim has been filed, the insurance company will estimate the damages and costs described within the auto property claim and compare that to the coverage that the policy holder has paid premiums on. The company will determine what portion of the repair costs and medical bills can be covered under the auto property claim, and a representative will contact the policy holder.
In the event that the damages described in the auto property claim are covered to a large degree by the insurance policy, an insurance claims adjuster will sometimes be sent out to get a more accurate estimate of the damages, especially if there was damage to property in addition to the vehicle. If a police or incident report was obtained, the insurance company will ask for a copy of it. If damage to the vehicle is the only expense that will be covered in the auto property claim, sometimes insurance companies will have the policy holder take the vehicle to an approved repair shop for an estimate. Some insurance companies will allow the policy holder to shop around for quotes on the cost to repair, and select the repair company that is the most affordable.
Handling Denied or Insufficient Auto Property Claims
If the insurance company will not cover the costs of the damages or injuries, and the accident was caused by the other driver, the driver that was not at fault has the right to file an auto property claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. If the driver that was not at fault feels that the auto property claims compensation or settlement provided by the insurance company was not enough to cover costs, the driver has the right to contact an attorney. An attorney will be able to provide advice about whether to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, the at-fault driver, or the driver’s own insurance company based on the situation.
“Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners, and Investigators.” United states Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 29 Mar 2012. Web. 27 Sep 2013. <http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/claims-adjusters-appraisers-examiners-and-investigators.htm>.
“How Car Insurance Companies Handle Claims.” DMV.org The DMV Made Simple. DMV.org, n.d. Web. 27 Sep 2013. <http://www.dmv.org/insurance/how-car-insurance-companies-handle-claims.php>.
“USA.gov.” Car Insurance. USA.gov, 06 September 2013. Web. 27 Sep 2013. <http://www.usa.gov/topics/travel/cars/insurance.shtml>.