The purpose of automobile insurance is to provide financial assistance in the event of an automobile accident or other incident that inflicts damage on the vehicle, drivers, or passengers. Automobile insurance claims range in coverage, depending on the choices of the policy holder. Each state chooses necessary automobile insurance minimums that drivers must purchase in order to legally operate a motor vehicle. Please contact our team of Orlando auto accident attorneys for help with your auto insurance claims.
Effect of Premiums on Automobile Insurance Claims
Automobile insurance claims may only cover the costs that the policy holder has chosen to pay premiums on. Premium charges are either mandated by the government or the insurance company. When insurance companies choose premium rates, statistical data is used to calculate common risks in the area, and this information is used to determine reasonable premiums.
Deductibles and driving records also play a role in calculating insurance premiums. If a policy holder chooses a higher deductible, the premiums decrease. However, in the event that an automobile insurance claim needs to be filed, the driver will be responsible for the entire amount of the deductible before the insurance company will assist in covering expenses. Drivers that have lower occurrences of accidents and speeding tickets will be rewarded with lower premiums because of the lower risk of automobile insurance claims.
There are many factors that can affect insurance premiums based on the driver and the vehicle. Less experienced drivers will pose a higher risk to the insurance company, so premiums will be more expensive. Likewise, vehicles that are used to travel long distances and perform more dangerous activities will carry more expensive premiums. Higher premiums blanket across any insurance policies and extended coverage packages that are purchased. This makes it more difficult to obtain extended coverage policies that may be useful if it is necessary to file an automobile insurance claim.
Common Types of Coverage for Automobile Insurance Claims Include:
- Liability insurance will cover bodily injury, property damage, and lawsuits
- Personal Injury Protection covers medical expenses and lost wages
- Collision covers damage resulting from an accident, this coverage is usually optional
- Comprehensive covers damage that was not caused by a collision; such as weather damage, theft, or vandalism
Filing an Automobile Insurance claim
There are certain steps that should be followed after an accident has happened to ensure the covering of an automobile insurance claim. The first thing that must be done is to attend to any injuries. If there is an emergency, either call 911 or ask someone on the scene to call 911. If there is no emergency, call the regular police line.
Second, all drivers that have been involved in the accident should exchange insurance information. This should be inclusive with phone numbers. If there were any witnesses to the accident, witnesses’ statements should be taken. A police report or incident report should be obtained. The police report can provide an unbiased account of the incident.
Once the driver at fault has been determined, the automobile insurance claim can be filed. The driver that is at fault may be liable for any injuries, damage to the other driver’s vehicle, and damage to any property as a result of the accident. The driver that is not at fault should not pay face any increases in insurance premiums as a result of the accident.
The insurance claim can be filed by calling the insurance company. Regardless of fault, all parties that have been involved in an accident should file a claim. This can speed up the process of settlement after filing an automobile insurance claim. Laws about what each insurance provider is responsible for covering vary from state to state. If the driver that was not at fault did not have collision insurance coverage, the driver that was not at fault must file a claim against the driver that was at fault’s insurance provider. In some cases, an insurance adjuster will be sent out to document the extent of damage.
Automobile Insurance Claims in the Case of Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists
If the driver that is responsible for the accident does not have insurance, the driver that is not at fault has a right to take the at fault driver to court. The uninsured driver may be responsible for fines, damages to the affected vehicle, medical bills, and time off work for an injured driver. If the at fault driver does have insurance, but the driver that is not at fault feels that the settlement amount is insufficient, there may be legal action available. Contact our team of Orlando auto accident attorneys to discuss all legal options after an accident.
“Car Insurance.” USA.gov Government Made Easy. USA.gov, 06 September 2013. Web. 26 Sep 2013. <http://www.usa.gov/topics/travel/cars/insurance.shtml>.
“Filing an Auto Claim with Another’s Insurance Company.” Illinois department of Insurance. State of Illinois, n.d. Web. 26 Sep 2013. <http://insurance.illinois.gov/autoinsurance/auto_other_co_claim.asp>.
“How Car Insurance Companies Investigate Accident Claims.” DMV.org. DMV.org, n.d. Web. 26 Sep 2013. <http://www.dmv.org/insurance/how-car-insurance-companies-investigate-accident-claims.php>.