If you have ever had a car accident, you may have hesitated or waited before calling the insurance. Especially if it was a simple scratch or if you “just” slightly damaged a fence …If this happens again, do not hesitate: if your vehicle has been damaged, vandalized or stolen, you must call your insurer as soon as possible. Often, when it comes to small skirmishes, people do not call their insurer, because the damage is not important. It’s a mistake because the insurance company’s claims adjuster can help you, checking for damages that will come out later. If you hesitate to declare the incident, lest your premiums be raised accordingly, rest assured: if there is no claim, it will not affect your file. In other words, if you declare a claim without making a claim, the incident will have no impact on your automobile insurance premium. If a claim is necessary, the process will be accelerated.
When a car accident occurs
If you are involved in an incident, there are several scenarios:
– If it is a simple collision, you just have to complete an amicable report with the other driver. This document will be used by your insurer to determine your share of the liability and the indemnity to which you are entitled;
– If there is damage to someone else’s property, such as a fence or residence, call the police and stay there. Damages are covered by the liability section of your car insurance policy;
– If urgent minor repairs are required for your safety or to quickly return the vehicle to traffic, take pictures of the initial damage, so that your insurer can see the damage. In addition, keep bills and damaged parts that your insurer will want to review.
The insurance claim, in five steps
Regardless of the insurer and the type of automobile claim, the steps to be taken are similar. There are five:
- Declaration of the claim to the insurer: this is the initial step where you must provide the amicable report and the police report;
- Establishment of liability by the insurer;
- Assessment of damage and cost of repairs;
- Agreement on the amount to be awarded, according to your insurance contract;
- Payment of the indemnity.
Who chooses the garage? (and other questions)
Insurers can usually direct you to an accredited garage or body shop near you. Check with your insurer to make sure you decide.
Do you have a rental car? Most insurers pay the costs of renting a replacement vehicle while your car is in the garage. When choosing an insurer, check what is in the contract.
Who receives the money? Usually, the repairer will ask you to sign a document that allows him to be paid directly by the insurer. If this is the case, it is the repairer who will pay the deductible.
Will your premium increase? The amount of the car insurance premium is determined at the time of renewal of the policy. There are several factors in calculating the premium, including how you use your car, where you live and your driving record. Insurers take into account the number of claims made during the previous 5 to 6 years. It should be noted that the amount of the claims has no impact on the premium.