What is a car insurance claim process ?

What is a car insurance claim process ?
8 min read

Auto Insurance Claims Process

Remember that the insurance policy you purchase is a commitment to assistance (from the insurer) that can provide you with solutions according to your situation. Below we will explain everything about the claims process with your car insurer.

Having to go through a claim process with your auto insurance company is never a good thing. Chances are you were in an accident or something happened to your car, the good news is, that's what having an insurance policy is for! Your insurance company is there to help you cover expenses related to this, depending on your coverage. But do you know how to start a claim?

Remember that the insurance policy you purchase is a commitment to assistance (from the insurer) that can provide you with solutions according to your situation. Below we will explain everything about the claims process with your car insurer.

What is a car insurance claim process ?

The first thing you should know is that a claim process is a legal and formal procedure through which you request compensation from your insurance company in the event of a loss, accident or catastrophic event. Once the insurer evaluates your case and validates it, it proceeds to issue a payment or compensation for the insured or third parties involved.

It is important that as a client with auto insurance , you have all the information regarding the claim forms and methods handled by your insurance company. Request all the information from your insurance agent before signing your policy contract.

Steps to start a claim process with your auto insurance company

If you have an accident, it is important that you gather as much information as possible to be able to document what happened and that your insurance company can help you. It is also recommended that you gather the personal information of all the drivers involved (if there are others), as well as their auto insurance information. In the Sigo Seguros blog you can find more information about what to do if you have an accident and what to do if someone crashes or collides with your parked car .

The steps to file a claim vary depending on the size and type of claim. These steps should be specified in the declaration sheet of your insurance company and your insurance quote presented in the contract signed by both parties.

It is best that you call your insurance company in the situation. They will tell you what to do and can even provide roadside assistance. However, before making this call, contact the police, fill out the incident form that the authorities will give you and collect all the information about what happened and if you can, take photos or videos of the damage caused. They are essential data so that the insurer can evaluate and approve the compensation corresponding to your insurance coverage.

Most insurance companies start the claim process with a call to the Claims Department, but others have ways to start this process online or on a mobile app. The Claims Department of your insurance company will ask you questions and request information to continue with the process.

How is a claim process paid?

Once you file a claim and it is accepted, your insurance company will pay you. It may be that they pay directly to the mechanic who repairs your damaged car or they send you a check – it all depends on your insurance company and the specific case. It must only be met on the condition that the property has an insurance policy with adequate coverage at the time of the accident. Keep in mind that insurers have two payment options in the event of a total loss:

  1. Settlement for actual cash value. This form of compensation contemplates that your insurance policy will pay you the actual cash value of the property that has been affected. The way this “real value” is normally calculated, is the initial cost of the asset, depreciated for time of use and other factors. This method is the most common for auto insurance policies in California.
  2. Settlement for replacement costs. This type of compensation from your coverage assures you that if your wrecked car is impossible to repair and is considered a "total loss," your insurance company will replace the car with a similar new one. In California, this option is generally used for high value or exotic cars.

How does the claim affect your auto insurance policy?

As a person with auto insurance, you have to know that when you enter a claim process, this will be reflected in the cost of your policy and premiums. It all depends on the type of insurance coverage you have. Check with your insurer and tell them in detail what happened, your insurance company should advise you. Also, keep in mind that by filing frequent claims, insurance agents may classify you as a high-risk driver and change your coverage options to more expensive ones.

It is important to comply with everything your insurance company asks of you when filing a claim. If not, you run the risk of not getting an answer the next time you need help. You have to evaluate your decision very well when filing a claim, if you do it unnecessarily or very frequently, it is very likely that your auto insurance price will go up.

Should I introduce a claim process or not?

Having a car insurance policy is a monthly investment that can save you expensive expenses in the future. It's a smart investment in your financial stability that helps protect your assets in case of accidents and emergencies. If you have an accident, and you have good auto insurance, file a claim – that's what it's for!

On the other hand, if you want to make a claim with your collision and comprehensive coverages (known together as "full coverage" or "complete coverage," or "full cover" coverage in English) it is important that you evaluate the damage that your car suffered and compare the cost of repair against the cost of the deductible. If the cost of the repair is less than your deductible, there is no benefit in making a claim: the insurer only pays costs above the deductible value.

It is also possible that after a claim, the payment rate and monthly price will increase. Is this monthly increase worth it, or is it cheaper for you to pay it yourself? Each insurance company has different policies that are adapted to the legislation of the state in which they are located and can protect your money in any way. The objective is that you minimize the number of claims so as not to increase the monthly rate of your insurance policy and maintain the best coverage for the best price.

If you wish to request more information about the Sigo Seguros claim process, you can contact us. We are prepared to guide you to make the best decision.

The cost of auto insurance with comprehensive coverage can save you much more expensive expenses and penalties in the future. We all make mistakes, and with auto insurance you can rest easy in case you have an accident.

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