We are very sure that no one likes getting in a car accident. It’s dangerous to your life, there’s a risk of serious injuries, damage to your car, psychological trauma and so much more. But what’s worse than a car accident is the long insurance claim process and the time it takes for the insurance company to reimburse you. But it does not always have to be a terrible, tiring, and traumatizing experience that’s filled with the hassle. There are ways to reduce the time it takes for your insurance claim to be processed. Here are some tips to speed up the car insurance claim process and get reimbursed quickly. These tips should be practiced even before you get in an accident.
Before the accident
It is not the time after you get in an accident that causes all the hassle, but it is the lack of preparation before the car accident. Yes, prevention is better than cure, but if you drive a car, no matter how much you try, you will get in a car accident at some point in your life. This certainty of statistics is what makes preparation so important. First, be prepared with a proper auto insurance policy with the right coverage and great customer support. If you have an insurance agent, that’s even better.
One great thing that you should do (and many people don’t) is get a dashcam. A dashcam is a camera that’s attached to your dashboard and it costs only a few dollars. This camera will record your driving and you have no idea how much it can impact your insurance claim process times. Having video proof during an accident not only makes insurance claims faster but also prevents any insurance fraud (where someone wrongly tries to blame the accident on you). A dash cam also removes the hassle of an investigation that insurance companies do to make sure you are entitled to make a claim.
During the accident
As soon as you get in a road accident, first, make sure you and your passengers are safe and not injured. Then call the police. After that, you need to get the insurance details of the other driver as soon as you can. After all the steps are done, contact your insurance company and report the accident. Make sure you report it to the cops as well. A car accident if not reported to the cops is not considered an accident by insurance companies. You cannot claim if the cops are not involved.
The second step is to take pictures of the accident, and all the places where your car has been damaged. Include videos as well, and take pictures of the other car too. Document the entire accident as you’ll need it later. A pro tip would be to describe the accident verbally as you take the video so that you can properly provide the details to the cops and the insurance company.
After the accident
After everyone has been informed, you’ll have to make a claim. This can be done either by your insurance company’s app, website, or insurance agent or over a phone call. This is the lengthiest part. The insurance company needs to make sure that it was a genuine road accident and not attempted insurance fraud. The agent from your insurance company (and even the other driver’s insurance company) will ask you questions about the accident. This is why having a video and pictures of the accident is so helpful. These pictures and videos will speed up the confirmation process and will help you get your insurance money faster.
How to speed up the process
- Choose the right motor insurance company: The insurance claim process for every company varies from one state to another. So, make sure to choose the insurance company with the faster claim process. Keep all documents ready: insurance claims can require a lot of documents, so always manage and keep the documents properly so that you can produce them whenever the company asks.
- Be honest: Honesty is the best policy, and if you want your insurance claim to be processed faster, then stick to the truth. Do not try to inflate the cost of damages, or add anything extra to the story. Tell the insurance company the truth and back it up with evidence.
- Stay in touch with the insurance agent: There can be a lot of back and forth during an insurance claim process. This could include interactions through calls, emails, or messages. Make sure you check for their messages or calls regularly as any delay from your side can drastically increase the claim processing time.
What affects insurance claim process
A few factors can increase the time your insurance claim takes to process. These factors include:
- The amount of evidence: With little to no evidence, the insurance company will take their time to ensure it’s not insurance fraud. This will take a lot of time and hence, will increase the insurance claim processing time.
- The extent of the damage: Severe damage to the car and the high cost of repairs can increase the claim process time.
- Negotiation: In case your car gets totaled, the payout you get for the value of the car can be lower than what you expect, and since it is negotiable, you’d want to get a higher payout. This disagreement can lead to longer insurance claim processing time.
Different companies can have other terms and conditions which would either speed up the claim process or delay it further. Since these are the company’s internal factors, all you can do is do your part and hope for the best. Insurance claims can take anywhere from a week to a few months to process. Follow these tips to make your claims processed within a few weeks or less.