Let’s say you get in a car accident. Maybe a car came out of nowhere or a deer leapt out in front of you or another driver and caused a domino effect of collisions. While your head is probably spinning and you’re wondering how you, the others, and if your vehicle are all okay, you know you will need to make an auto claim to your insurance company.
You might want to put off making your claim out of dread – dread of possibly increasing premiums, hearing the disappointment in your agent’s voice, and in filling out paperwork. Even if you’d rather put off making your claim for a while or forget about it all together, you really should make the claim as soon as you can. After all, your side door isn’t going to fix itself!
Filing a claim is actually pretty easy, and the process can be quite smooth if you’re prepared for the possibility of an accident happening. Follow these 4 steps to help you properly file a claim!
Know Your Policy – You don’t have to remember every single detail of your auto insurance policy, but you will need to know how long you have to fill out an auto insurance claim. If you wait too long, your claim could be denied. Don’t know the time frame? Review your policy when you get home or call up your agent to ask as soon as you can!
Stay in Control – It’s very easy to be overwhelmed, emotional, and in shock in the event of an accident, no matter how minor or severe it is. You will have to keep a cool head when you file a claim, however, since your emotions could affect the outcome of your claim. After you make sure everyone is safe and that everyone has received the medical attention they need, obtain the names, contact information, and insurance information on all the parties involved in the accident and any witnesses, too, if you can. Afterward, call the police to file a report. Most importantly, never resume responsibility for the accident early on in the process; the other driver might have been in the wrong because they were driving without their prescription glasses.
Get Medical Attention Right Away – You might feel fine after the accident, and you might even feel fine the next day, but injuries can surface days or even weeks after an accident. Even if you don’t feel like you need a doctor, seek medical attention right away, just to make sure that you’re okay. If you don’t have money to pay any out-of-pocket medical expenses for an injury someone else caused, it will be a lot more difficult to get the compensation you deserve if you wait before seeing a doctor. Your agent will want to know about any injuries you may have sustained as well. Remember, putting off medical treatment is never a good idea for both your health and your wallet!
File Your Claim – Now it’s time to file your claim. As soon as you can, file your claim with your insurance company. Your agent might take the information from you and file it him or herself, or they may ask you to fill out the paperwork with specific instructions. When you’re filing your claim, be honest about all aspects of what happened. If your insurance company finds out that you withheld the truth at all, your claim could be denied or your policy could be cancelled. Also, resist the temptation to get your car fixed until you find out the policy on repairs. Sometimes your insurance agent will want to send you to someone to inspect the damages first or he or she might require you to take your vehicle to a repair shop that is approved. Be sure to hold on to all repair receipts!
If you’re involved in an auto accident, be sure to call us at 1-800-766-MMIC or visit us online at www.madisonmutual.com to file a claim online. We’ll take good care of you in the event of an accident because we know that anything can happen!