Imagine you’re out for a Sunday drive when your pleasant afternoon is interrupted with a smash. In an instant, the car you worked so hard to take care of is destroyed. What happens next? Continue reading to learn more about how your insurance company will help take care of the damage.
1. Get Safe
If your car is driveable, pull off the road before you get out to talk. You don’t want to get hit by an unaware driver speeding by or noticing your accident too late and failing to stop in time. If you can’t move, stay in your, car and turn on your hazards.
2. Get Help
Report all accidents to the police. It’s usually required by law when there’s significant damage, and the police can help keep tempers from flaring. If you even think that someone might be hurt, request an ambulance as well.
3. Notify Your Insurance Agent
You should also call your insurance agent as soon as possible. They’ll help you get the claims process started.
If you call them from the scene of the accident, they may even be able to send someone out to take photos and/or do their own crash investigation. This could help support your claim later on, so don’t wait.
4. Book Your Rental Car
If you need to get to work the next day, you’ll probably need a rental car. This is covered by your policy when you select rental car coverage.
Many insurance companies have preferred providers that they pay directly. If not, you’ll be given a fixed amount per day towards your rental.
5. Get Repair Estimates
Depending on the insurance company, you may need to meet a claims adjuster, go to the insurance company’s office, or get estimates from independent body shops. Your insurance company will then authorize the repairs.
If your insurance company’s initial estimate is low or the body shop finds more damage when they open up your car, don’t despair. The original estimate is not set in stone as long as you have good supporting proof and are willing to be reasonably flexible about where you take your car.
If your insurance company decides the cost to repair your car is too high, often around 70 percent of its value, they may total the car and cut you a check for its full value instead. In that case, they’ll usually keep your car, and you take the check to a dealership to put towards your new car.
6. Exercise Your Optional Coverages
If you have GAP coverage or new car replacement coverage, read your policy to find out how to exercise them. For GAP coverage, your insurance company will usually pay off your loan or lease directly assuming that the amount you owe exceeds your car’s value. If you have new car replacement coverage, they may cut you a check or send you to a dealership they have an arrangement with.
7. Get Back on the Road
Once your car is repaired, or you’ve gotten your replacement car, it’s time to get back on the road. If you’re driving the same car, your coverage should continue to apply. If you bought a new car, don’t forget to call your insurance company to add it to your policy before you leave the lot.
Sound easy? It is as long as you work with a reputable insurance agency who is willing to help you through the claims process. To learn more about how we settle claims or to find out if you have the right coverage, contact Mooney Insurance today.