Uh oh… You’ve gotten into a car accident! Whether it’s a fender bender or a more serious collision, car accidents of any kind are not fun.
Nevertheless, 77% of drivers have been in at least one accident. So, if you’ve just recently been involved in a car crash and have given your insurance a call, you might be wondering…
“What happens after I file an auto insurance claim?”
At benchmark commercial insurance, we’re here to give you the lowdown.
what happens after you file an auto insurance claim
So, you’ve gone through the steps to filing a claim and relay exactly what happened to an insurance professional. Now what?
undergo or complete a damage assessment
After you submit a claim, an insurance adjuster will inspect the auto damages incurred.
Back in the day, an insurance adjuster would trek out to wherever the car was following the accident to assess damages.
In today’s digital age, however, you can usually conduct such an assessment yourself via mobile phone. For example, various insurance providers allow users to complete their own multi-point inspection simply by uploading photos to their insurance app.
receive an insurance settlement
Next, after an insurance adjuster submits a report on your claim, the insurance company may issue a settlement. An insurance settlement is the money an insurance company agrees to give you to repair your damaged vehicle.
get your car repaired
The next step is the most exciting: Getting your car repaired, yay!
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), drivers have a right to choose where they’d like their vehicle to be repaired.
Allstate writes that when it comes to paying for vehicle repairs, your insurance company might:
- “Pay the repair shop directly, or
- Pay you and let you handle the bill”
do I have to repair my car after filing an auto insurance claim?
If you’re in a minor accident, receive a settlement, then decide the damage isn’t absolutely necessary to be repaired… Can you just pocket the settlement instead?
Simply put, no (not if you want to continue coverage).
According to The Balance, an “insurance company will require repairs if you want to continue your vehicle’s comprehensive or collision coverages.”
Why? “The insurance company does not want to keep insuring a vehicle for future physical damage if the vehicle was already damaged and not repaired [because] a second accident would compound any existing damage… It’s standard procedure for the insurance company to require you to drop physical damage coverage from a vehicle that was not repaired.”
additional factors to consider
It’s also important to consider the following questions when filing an auto insurance claim.
how much is my deductible?
When you invest in auto insurance, you pick deductibles for certain coverages (i.e. collision or comprehensive coverage). Accident or not, it’s important to know the cost of your deductible.
What is a deductible? A deductible is how much money you pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in.
Consider this example: You have a $250 deductible and $1,500 in damage from a covered accident. Your insurer will pay $1,250 to repair your car, and you’ll be responsible for the remaining $250. Again, your deductible is $250.
do I have rental reimbursement coverage?
Rental reimbursement coverage, also known as transportation expense coverage, is insurance coverage that can help pay for the cost of a rental car or other transportation while your vehicle is being repaired.
Speak with your insurer to find out if you have rental reimbursement coverage; then, if so:
- How you’ll be reimbursed, and
- Your policy coverage limits
consider benchmark commercial insurance
At benchmark commercial insurance, we help ensure you’re prepared for any auto incident and that you have coverage in all necessary areas.
We offer auto coverage for the following:
- Daily drivers
- Classic autos
- High performance
- Race vehicles
- Trailers, and