How to Fill Out and Report an Auto Insurance Claim After a Car Accident

January 27, 2012

Filling out your auto insurance claim properly after a car accident can be the difference between an approved or disapproved claim. After a car accident there are several things that you have to do in order to properly claim any auto insurance. Below is a guideline on what you should and should not do when reporting an auto insurance claim after a car accident. 

Step 1. Get the Insurance Information of the Other Party

One of the most important steps in reporting auto accident insurance claims is to get the insurance details of the other party involved, if any. You need to get the name, address, and insurance information of the other driver. You also need to note down the make and model of the other vehicle as well as any damages the other vehicle may have due to the accident.

Step 2. Document the Accident

If you are involved in a car accident, it is best that you document every little detail. This will eventually help you once you file your report to your insurance company. Generally, you need to file an accident report at least within 24 hours after the accident if there are no cops involved. You also need to get a witness to sign the document to establish validity.

Step 3. Call your Insurance Company

After you have all the documents and information you need, you then need to call you agent. However, if you do not have an agent you can always call the insurance company directly. Inform them about the car accident and provide them with all the details they will ask for. Generally, they will ask about how, when and where the accident happened. It is important that you provide the answers they seek as truthfully as possible.

Step 4. Fill Out the Claim Form

Once the insurance company has determined that you can claim for this accident, you then need to fill out an insurance claim form.

An auto insurance claim form often seeks information about the insured, the insured vehicle, the driver, details of the accident, the other vehicle or property involved in the accident and description of the accident. Some insurance companies would also ask other information that they feel is important like the safety measures or procedures followed during the accident. It is important that you fill out all the information being asked on the claim form whether you are at fault or not.

You can also attach any other documents you may have regarding the incident including the accident report as well as the accounts of the witnesses. When you are done completing the form, you can now send it to your insurance company.

Step 5. Assessing the Damage

Once your insurance company has accepted your claim, they would often have someone come over to assess the damage on your car. This is part of the auto insurance claim process. The insurance adjuster will assess the damage and checked it with the description of the accident you sent the insurance company.

After assessing the damage, the insurance adjuster would often give you an appraisal on how much the cost will be for the repairs.

Related Questions and Answers

How Do I Find a Car Accident Report?

Typically, how to find an accident report is in the police headquarters traffic bureau or front desk of the town in which the accident happened. You can also find one at your own town's local police headquarters. Or, you may find one online at the Department of Motor Vehicles where most, if not all, forms used in a state are stored. Your insurance agency may also have a report form, so a quick call to the agency may pay off. You usually have three business days to file the accident report if there is more than $2,000 damage or a bodily injury claim.

Am I Required to Fill Out a Traffic Accident Report Form when Involved in a Car Wreck?

A traffic accident report form is required in most jurisdictions when there is more than $2,000 worth of body damage to one or both vehicles, presuming a two-vehicle crash. This report gives the police department all kinds of statistical information about traffic conditions and allows your insurance company to find out who they are working with quickly. If the accident involves bodily injury, a traffic accident report form is mandatory so that the insurance companies can contact all victims in case medical treatment is needed. It is a judgment call if your car accident is less than your deductible, or under $200, whether you should file one at all.

Where can I Get a Vehicle History Report?

Simply ask the dealer for a CARFAX, and you can get a vehicle history report. Experian also runs a car history reporting system, although CARFAX is King of the Hill. By and large, you will also find that if your car is part of a certified pre-owned program - where you get an extra year of warranty coverage - a CARFAX report is a requirement, and it must remain in the glovebox of the vehicle. Auditors are constantly visiting dealerships to ensure that any vehicles part of the certified pre-owned program have CARFAX reports included in their paperwork. A CARFAX is also a great sales tool because it shows the entire history of the vehicle. So you know what you are buying before you sign on the dotted line.

Do I Need to Fill out a Car Accident Form for an Auto Pedestrian Accident?

A report form is mandatory in an auto pedestrian accident, no matter who is at fault. Although people assume that the driver must be at fault in an auto-pedestrian accident, there are times when the pedestrian is responsible for the accident, as in ignoring a pedestrian warning signal or a yellow light, both of which require a vehicle to slow to a stop. There are also times when a pedestrian can actually walk into the side of a car when he ignores a signal and steps off into traffic. So a report form is mandatory in this type of accident, as much for your protection as anyone else's.

Where can I find a Car Accident Report Template?

You can find a car accident report template online at your state's Department of Motor Vehicles. They usually have a library of all forms set up for download as .PDF files for use in filing accident reports. It does save a great deal of time as you do not have to go to the local police station to pick one up. Although you do have to file one with the local police. You may also find an accident report template on your own police department's website, as they may maintain a library of commonly used or asked for forms, as well.