If you are reading this, chances are that you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident that resulted in damage to a vehicle. If so, it’s likely that one of the first things you did was contact your car insurance company to file a claim.
When you filed a claim with your insurance company, you are hoping that they will pay out enough money so that you can cover the cost of the damages without having to pay anything out of your own pocket. However, before your claim is paid, your insurance company is going to conduct an investigation. Why? – Because they don’t want to pay out for losses if they don’t need to.
An insurance investigation can be overwhelming and a bit nerve wracking, to say the least. To help you prepare, here’s a look at what you can expect after you file a claim with your insurance company.
What Happens After Filing a Claim?
After you contact your insurance provider and file a claim, you will be contacted by a representative from the company; generally, this representative will be an insurance adjuster or a claims adjuster.
When the insurance or claims adjuster contacts you, you will be asked to provide detailed information about the incident that you filed a claim for. This will likely include a police report and testimonial from any witnesses. After you have provided the necessary information, the adjuster will then review the details of your policy to determine what type of coverage you have. This will allow him or her to determine if the claim you are filling is actually covered by the insurance that you carry. For example, if you are filing a claim for damage to your own vehicle, yet you only carry liability insurance, your insurance will not cover the claim. Why? – Because liability insurance only covers third party injuries and property damages; in order for your own vehicle to be covered, you need to carry collision insurance.
Other information that your claims adjuster or insurance adjuster might ask to see may include:
- Medical reports, including information from your healthcare provider and the type of care that you required for any injuries.
- The cost of your medical bills
- Any evidence that showcases damage to your property (photos, for example).
- Proof that illustrates you have lost wages as a result of your accident.
Why are Auto Insurance Claims Investigated?
Auto insurance companies have a big financial stake in your policy. As mentioned, whenever you file a claim and that claim is covered, your insurance provider will suffer a loss. In order to avoid suffering a loss, your insurance provider will want to thoroughly investigate your claim to determine the legitimacy of the accident and whether or not your policy will actually cover it. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to file claims against their auto insurance after they have purposefully damaged their vehicles as a way to make money.
What can You Expect During a Claims Investigation?
The process of an investigation was described above, but what can you expect during the process? As mentioned, you will be contacted by a representative from your insurance company; usually a claims adjuster. You will be asked to provide any pertinent information relating to the incident you filed a claim for.
After collecting your information, the adjuster will assess your policy to determine whether or not the claim is covered. They will also investigate the details of the accident to determine if any foul play occurred.
If your policy does not cover the damages you have filed, your car insurance company will not pay out. Likewise, if it is determined that there is any suspicious nature related to the claim, your claim will not be paid out. Furthermore, you could end up dealing with other issues, such as litigation.
How to Prepare
If you have filed a claim with your car insurance company, it’s important to know how to prepare for an investigation.
To prepare, make sure that you have all necessary information readily available. This includes any evidence of the accident, any witness testimonial, a police report, medical records, and other pertinent information. The adjuster will also inspect your vehicle, take pictures of your car, and visit the scene of the accident.
You might also be asked questions. The questions the adjuster asks will vary depending on the unique nature of your accident; however, it’s important that you always provide the most accurate information. Never lie; always be honest. Remain as calm as you possible can and don’t rush your answers; take the time you need to review your answers so that you can provide the most accurate information possible.
The Bottom Line on Claims Investigations
While an investigation by a car insurance company may be nerve wracking, remain calm and be truthful. As long as you are honest, the investigation will go smoothly and there will be nothing to worry about.