When accidents happen, one of our first concerns is often how much it could cost you. Depending on the severity of the incident and the amount of damage it led to, this can rack up rather quickly. But this is why you have insurance. Insurance is designed to protect you from financial hardship after an accident and the first step in any situation is to file an insurance claim.

Insurance claim? An insurance claim is a formal request to your insurance company to receive money to help cover repairs, medical bills, and other associated costs following an accident.

In order to file an insurance claim, you will need to call or visit your independent insurance agent. They will help you go through any and all paperwork and required steps to filing the claim to make sure it is done properly. They can also advise you of any next steps and how the process will work. This process could involve an adjuster coming out to access any damage done, an investigation to determine what happened and who is at fault, assessment of any medical claims associated, and more. Ultimately the insurance company will work to make sure you are made whole after the accident in all aspects.

When do you need to file an insurance claim? There are three main situations in which you should always file a claim:

  1. When someone is injured. If you are in a car accident and you or the other parties involved are injured or someone is injured at your home, you should always file a claim.
  2. When it is not clear who is at fault. When there is confusion about who is to blame for an accident, it can often be best to let the insurance companies figure it out. Filing a claim can get this process started.
  3. When you suffer a “total loss” or cannot afford to pay for the damages. If the costs associated with the accident exceed what you can pay out of pocket, it makes sense to file a claim.

Every situation is different, and your independent insurance agent can help you to weigh the pros and cons to filing a claim.

How do you file an insurance claim?

After an accident, filing an insurance claim can often feel overwhelming. We are here to help.

Here is a checklist of steps after your accident to make the process of filing a claim easier.

  1. Call the police if necessary. If a crime has been committed, somebody is injured, or there is significant damage you need to call 911 immediately and get help. You do not have to have a police report to file an insurance claim, but it can often help the insurance company determine what happened and who is at fault.
  2. Document everything and exchange information. Document everything you can think of from the scene of the accident and get important information from any involved parties.
    • Take photos of the accident from every angle
    • Take notes from conversations you may have with first responders or involved parties
    • Note the year, make, model, color, and license plate number of any vehicles involved
    • Take insurance information from any involved parties, including insurance policy numbers
    • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of anyone involved
    • Ask any first responders for their business card or name and badge numbers
    • If you are hurt, hang on to any physician reports, medical bills, or other documents the hospital or first responders give you.
    • Keep any receipts from associated costs
  3. Contact your independent insurance agency. Call or visit your independent insurance agent and they can help you go about filing the claim with all the information and documentation you did in step 2.

Filing an insurance claim can be overwhelming, but it does not have to do.

Your independent insurance agent is here to help.