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5 Steps to Filing Your Auto Insurance Claim

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Car crossing Bixby bridge, Big Sur.
Kodiak Greenwood/ Stone/ Getty Images

1. Evaluate whether or not you should file an insurance claim: Did you know that just when you call your insurance company with a question about possibly filing a claim it is often recorded on your insurance record? It is important to keep your insurance record clean and one way is deciding whether or not you should file a claim. It doesn’t matter if the accident is your fault or not, you should ask yourself first if you can pay for the damage. Simply put, if you can pay for it yourself without financial hardship, don’t file the claim.

2. Fill out your What to do After an Auto Accident Worksheet: This worksheet, which when you click on the title is provided for print-out, will help you keep track of the information you will need to file your auto insurance claim. It is important to get every detail of the accident documented and to try to find witnesses that would be willing to talk to your insurance company to back-up your story.

3. File the claim ASAP: You will want to file the claim as soon as possible with your insurance company. Even if it is not your fault, your insurance company will handle the claim process as your advocate.

4. Prepare for a possible call from the other insurance company: If there is a dispute between the two parties in the accident, you may get a call from the other driver’s insurance company asking for your version of what happened at the accident scene. If this happens make sure you document everything you say and the name of the customer service agent you talked too.

5. Finally, getting your car fixed: If you had body damage to your vehicle this is when you will finally get it fixed. After your claim is approved, you will likely get a call from your insurance company about sending an insurance adjuster out to assess the damage or asking you to send your car to a pre-approved shop to get it fixed.

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