To err is human, to forgive is divine. In that case, we are all going to err during the auto insurance claims process. It happens. If we were perfect, then there would be a lot of attorneys out of a job! So here are 5 more mistakes to avoid during the claims process:
1. CONTACT THE INSURANCE COMPANY
After an accident, report the accident to your insurance company within 24 hours. Do not delay. The longer you delay, the slower the process. Even if you think the other person was at fault, let your insurance company know. At least, if you have collision coverage, they can start trying to fix your car.
2. DOCUMENT YOUR CLAIM WITH PICTURES
Take pictures of everything. Take pictures of the accident scene, any debris, skid marks, your car, the other person’s car and any visible injuries. A picture tells a thousand words!
3. GET YOUR OWN ESTIMATES
Yes, the insurance company will recommend a body shop. However, you need to find a body shop based on referrals from friends and family. Go there and get your own estimate.
4. BE PLEASANT
The insurance adjuster is not your friend. However, the adjuster is a person and you should treat him or her that way. Even when I completely disagree with an adjuster, I don’t treat them poorly or yell at them. Being pleasant can make a world of difference.
5. GO TO THE DOCTOR
Even if you are not sure if you are hurt, go to the doctor. Let them examine you. It could take a few days or weeks for you to feel pain. Once you do, go to the doctor. If your airbags went off, go right away. The powder from the airbags can cause small burns.
Remember, the insurance adjusters have a checklist that they use on every claim. And they do this all day, every day. You don’t have that luxury. Avoid these mistakes and you will go a long way to making sure your claim goes smoothly.