Imagine being on the way home from work in Waukesha when you decide to stop at the grocery store. You do your shopping and head out to the parking lot, but as you approach your car, you notice a huge scrape along the side. As you round the front of your vehicle, you see even worse damage on the fender.
Parking lot accidents are a serious problem that leaves many people in a difficult situation. Unable to find out who caused the damage, it’s up to the driver to deal with their insurance company and make the most of their insurance plan, which can be difficult if this is your first time making a claim.
Below, we outline exactly how to handle a situation like this one and make a claim with your insurance agency.
How to File an Auto Insurance Claim
Before concerning yourself with insurance, make sure you remember to call the police whenever you’re involved in an auto accident. They’ll need to be notified right away and meet you at the scene of the accident. This way, they can file a police report. When speaking to the police officer who responds to your call, never admit fault even if you believe you were at fault. Simply answer their questions and respond politely.
Filing an auto insurance claim isn’t as difficult as it may sound. Start by calling your insurance company as soon as possible. They’ll get things started on their end. You can even call from the scene of the accident after contacting the police.
Give your insurance agent all of the information they ask for. At this point, you’ll be advised to take your car into an auto body shop. You can choose your own shop or choose one recommended by your insurance company. Some insurance companies work with certain auto body shops and allow them to write pre-approved estimates. If you don’t get a preapproved estimate, make sure to take your estimate to your insurance company and have it formally approved before starting on repairs.
Some insurance policies have rental car coverage, so remember to ask if you have this endorsement on your plan as well.
How to Handle Other Types of Auto Collisions
If you’re ever involved in an accident where you’re driving at the time it occurs, you’ll need to remember several other tips for handling the situation:
- Pull over to a safe location.
If the accident occurs in the middle of an intersection, for example, pull over to the side of the road (or another safe spot) as soon as possible.
- Turn off your vehicle.
After turning off your car, put on your hazard lights.
- Ensure everyone is safe.
Check the safety of everyone involved in the accident, including yourself. Call an ambulance if needed. If you’re in doubt, always make the call. Don’t forget to contact the police as well.
- Gather information from the other driver.
Obtain the full name, contact information, driver’s license number, insurance company name, and policy number from the other driver. Give them the same information. Also, write down a description of their vehicle.
- Take photos of the scene.
Take many photographs of the accident and any injuries sustained.
With a Comprehensive Insurance Plan, You’re Set
Every auto collision can be made many times better when the claims process is smooth and straightforward. But this can only be achieved when you have a great policy. Most of getting a great policy is seeking out a trustworthy and reputable insurance agency.