What to Claim or Not Claim on Your Car Insurance – You’re not at fault

I guess the only good thing about being involved in an accident that is not your fault is, well, it’s not your fault. It STILL sucks. People get hurt, your car still needs to be fixed, and all in all, it is not fun. You can help to make the process a little easier by doing what is recommended in the above list and act to help the process along, not hurt it. Just because the accident is not your fault, don’t expect to just sit back and have EVERYTHING be tended to perfectly and run smoothly without your involvement. You may have to make some phone calls. You may have to fax some documents. The bottom line is if you are found to be not at fault, the other company should pay, sure, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot be a human being and help do your part in the process. Car accidents are ACCIDENTS…no one wants to go around ramming their car into others, so keep that in mind. The other party is probably sorry the accident occurred. All too often I see and hear of folks who act as if the other party are heartless criminals for hitting them. It is as if they are perfect individuals and the other party are complete worthless wastes of time. Let’s keep in mind that accidents do occur, and it could just as easily be YOU at fault as the other person. If the parties treat each other and the insurance company with respect, the process will go much more smoothly and probably even be settled more quickly. Here are some things to keep in mind that may help the process along:

1. Give your insurance info to the other party. No, maybe you were not at fault, but do you really want the other company to have to track down your info or wait for the police report to be filed, then sent to the insurance company? Be reasonable. The more info  you give and the more you cooperate and participate in the process the easier and smoother the process will go. I have seen so many instances where people won’t cooperate, then complain that nothing is going smoothly and it is taking too long. They then say things like “why should I have to give that info? It’s not MY fault…” We are not in the  first grade anymore, we are adults. Pretend you are in the real world and act accordingly. Things will work out much better for you if you do.

2. You CAN contact your insurance company, but if the accident is clearly the other person’s fault, they may not even turn in the claim. If the other insurance company has accepted liability and is going to take care of you, there is no reason for them to. If the other insurance company is NOT going to pay or it is undecided, then your company may begin to initiate coverage. Either way, that phone call to your company is never a bad idea.

3. Let the insurance companies handle it. They are experts, they do this ALL the time. Learn the procedure as they tell it to you and hold them to that, sure, but otherwise, step back and let them do their work. Trust me, this is the quickest way to get the claim resolved.

4. KEEP GOOD RECORDS. Make notes of conversations you have had, copies of receipts or any paperwork you have received, or anything that you have gotten from the hospital, policy, insurance company, or car repair facility. Now, there are also scenarios where you are not at fault, but you are a victim of hit and run, or the other person has no insurance, or is UNDER insured. In these cases, your uninsured motorist liability may come into play. This coverage will protect YOU in these instances. In most cases, there is a state specific deductible that first must be satisfied. Check with your agent to see how this may affect you. Otherwise, the claim will proceed as normal. If you are not found at fault, your rates should not be affected for claims that are paid by uninsured motorist coverage.

Photo credit/Flickr/ya po guille

Photo credit/Flickr/RogueSun Media

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 25th, 2009 at 3:34 pm and is filed under article. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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