Procedures of Car Accident Insurance The Accident o With the right coverages, insurance will protect you from the injuries and damages that occur in accidents. When you have an accident, the first step is to collect as much information from the other party as possible. This should include the driver's name, address, phone number, license plate number, vehicle information (year, make and model), name of the insurance carrier, insurance policy number and insurance agent or claims number. Also, provide the other party with your information. If, for some reason, you are unable to collect this information willingly from the other party, make note of as much information as you can regarding the other party. Contact the Police and Your Carrier o Contact the police and your insurance carrier to inform them of the accident. It's a good idea to contact the police at the time of the accident. This police officer completes a report, which lists specific findings observed during his arrival. The officer attempts to determine who was at fault on the scene, if possible. Many times, the insurance carrier requires that an accident report be filed in order to process your insurance claim. If a report is not filed at the time of the accident, visit the police department in the city or town where the accident occurred. The department will provide you with a police report number that you can give to your insurance company to reference the report. Depending on the seriousness of the accident, your insurance company may also arrive at the scene of the accident. If so, immediately provide the representative with the information you have captured and any specifics that you may remember that resulted in the accident. Investigation o Once you have filed your insurance claim, an investigation will take place. The claims adjuster will investigate the activities that resulted in the accident and assess any damages or injuries that occurred to the vehicles or people involved. The claims department may request that you provide a recorded statement to go along with its files. If so, provide as much information as possible, and be accurate and honest. During the investigation, the adjuster will also review your insurance coverages and determine which coverages apply to your claim. If the other party is responsible for the injuries or damages, your company will work with the other party's company to settle the payout requirements. If the insurance carriers are unable to agree, a lawsuit or other legal action may be taken. Your adjuster or claims representative will provide you with the information needed to take further action. Fees resulting from legal actions of an accident are usually included in the policy coverage. However, you should review your policy specifics and speak with your representative to ensure this applies to you. Becoming Whole o The object of auto insurance is to return the party to the status that was held before the accident occurred, or to make the party whole. The coverage will repair your vehicle's damages, pay for your medical injuries and in turn, do the same for the other party if the accident is deemed to be your fault. Insurance companies make every effort to ensure that this is completed in a swift and efficient manner, and in a way that is best for the policyholder and the insurance company. Once your adjuster has completed his investigation and determined the amount of settlement, he will send you a settlement letter. The settlement letter will define the coverages that will be used, the amount that will be paid and any additional information that's specific to the accident. If you are responsible for the damages and your company is to pay the other party, you will receive a copy of the settlement letter that is sent to the other party. If you disagree with the information in the settlement letter, whether you feel your damages are more than provided or the company is paying more damages to the other party than you feel is proper, you have the option of negotiating the offer with the adjuster. Each carrier's negotiation and counteroffer process is different. The company holds the right to refuse your counteroffer, but justifiable offers are highly considered and often approved.
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