With a constant churn of retirees, tourists, and people in town for big football games, Scottsdale’s roads can often feel chaotic. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already decided to make the responsible decision to make sure your insurance company protects you from bad drivers. But what happens when one of them actually hits you? Keep reading to find out what you need to do.
1. Start Your Claim on the Side of the Road
Your first step is to limit the damage and keep everyone safe by moving to a safe location. This could be into a nearby parking lot, or if you’re on the highway, find a wide median or emergency lane that gives you room to walk around without worrying about passing cars.
After you’ve called the police and gotten medical attention for anyone who needs it, call your insurance agent. They can help guide you through what information you need to collect and what types of photographs might be useful. In some cases, an insurance company representative might even head to the scene to gather information and start the claims process.
2. Check Your Insurance Claim Deadlines
Once you’re home, carefully review your policy for any deadlines to file a claim. You usually have a set number of days in which you must formally notify your insurance company of the claim. This may involve sending a specific form or needing to include certain information, so even if you’ve already called your insurance company, you’ll want to double check that you have everything you need.
3. Find Out How to Repair Your Car
There are usually three procedures for getting repairs depending on which insurance company you use.
- Preapproved shops: Insurance companies with preapproved shops have contracts in place to take care of everything for you. All you need to do is take your car to an approved shop that’s convenient for you. Your insurance company will work out what work is needed and make payments directly to the shop.
- Insurance company estimates: Other insurance companies write their own estimates. They may use photos, send an adjuster to meet you, or have you take your car to one of their offices. Afterward, you’ll need to find a shop that’s willing to do the work within that estimate. If shop estimates are higher, you’ll need to go back and negotiate with the insurance company.
- Get your own estimate: Your insurance company may ask you to get two to three estimates on your own at shops that you choose. If the insurance company believes the estimates are reasonable, they’ll approve the work.
4. Request Any Additional Coverages
If you have any additional coverages, you’ll need to request them when you make your claim. One of the most common is rental car coverage for while your car is in the shop. Call your insurance company to learn where you can pick up a rental car and how they handle billing.
You may also have GAP or new car replacement coverage to pay off your loan or lease or to cover the price of a new car rather than your car’s current value. Again, call your insurance agent to learn about your policy’s specific procedures.
As you can see, it’s important to work with a reputable insurance agent who will be willing to help you after an accident instead of disappearing after they’ve collected your premium. If you live in the Scottsdale area, contact the Don Neeley Agency to learn more about how we help our customers.