Tips on how to handle a property damage claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
- If you were in a car accident, not your fault, it is best to always call the police so they can make an accident report. Usually, they will give you a case number or incident number to order the police accident report. The report can take anywhere from 3-14 days before it is ready. Sometimes, you can order the police report on-line. Most places, you have to go in-person to pick up the report.
- Call the claims department for the other driver’s insurance company and see if the accident has been reported to them. You will need the other driver’s name, policy number and date of accident.
- If a claim has already been reported ask for the claim number, adjuster’s name, address, telephone and fax number. Also ask if the adjuster has an e-mail address.
- If the claim has not been reported then tell the insurance company you would like to report a new claim. They will ask you questions about the accident. Understand, many times that conversation is being recorded.
- Call the adjuster to find out when they can schedule an inspector to come out and write an estimate for the damage to your vehicle. In many states, you have the right to pick your own body shop to have the vehicle repaired. Ask the adjuster if they will pay for a rental car for you while your car is in the shop for repairs.
- If your car was damaged you may also ask the insurance company to reimburse you for not only the cost of repairs but also for the diminution of value to your car. This is the difference in the value of your car before the wreck verses after the wreck. Most times you will have to hire an automobile appraiser to determine the diminution of value.