15 February 2011

Top Tips To Making A Successful Claim - Car Insurance

Top Tips To Making A Successful Claim - Car Insurance ; Getting in an auto crash can be a painful occurrence. The very last thing you want to happen to you is to extend this pain to the period when you start filing and managing your claim with your insurance company. Here is a list of thing that will make your claim management as normal as possible:

1. Read and understand your policy. Reading your policy will allow you to get many of your questions answered in the correct manner. It will also make you ready ahead of time for things that can potentially happen to your claim. Like someone put it before ‘reading and understanding the policy is half way in getting your claim paid in timely manner.’

2. Report the accident to your insurance company. If you have an independent agent make sure you also report it to your agent and company. Failure to report the accident in timely manner may lead to delay in processing your claim.

3. If you have physical damage claim, make sure to communicate with the claim department of your company in an official manner. Make sure to document your calls with time and date and name of the person you talked to. Faxes and email can be little more effective than mere verbal communications because you have the proof with date and time that you responded to the company’s inquiries.

d. All insurance companies are mandated by law to respond to you within specific period of time, (in Illinois the time is 21 days after you report the loss). However, you need to pay attention to the details of the list of things your company needs you to address. Under policy terms, it is a must that you perform certain tasks and duties such as supplying certain documents to validate your claim. These credentials could consist of sworn statements of loss telling the date, time and events that lead to the loss; reason of using the vehicle at the time of the loss, police crash report, medical bills, bill of sale and title. Insurance companies also has the right to examine certain documents under oath. Lack of performance of these duties and tasks in timely manner may result in delaying or even declining your claim.

e. Keep in mind these factors in the event of fling a comprehensive and collision claim: Your company may request from you to furnish them with pictures and repair estimates, and may request from you to get your damaged vehicle inspected at one of their selected facilities to get more estimates. If the insurance company agrees to fix your vehicle you have the right to request the repair be completed at any store of your choice, but you may not force the company to approve the charges of your repair store, and your repair store has to accept the reasonable charges offered by the insurance company. In the event of total loss, your company can also amend the claim sum for any irregular high mileage of the vehicle or previous damage on the automobile. If your auto was confirmed total damage by your insurance company then the company will pay the fair market worth of the vehicle, minus the pertinent deductible. The insurance company is not obligated to pay a loan note on the vehicle if there is any.

f. If the vehicle was announced complete damage the insurance company may provide you with an offer for a cash settlement or a replacement vehicle. The replacement car must be bought from a registered car dealership, with similar or better year, make & model; same or better options and physical conditions. Insurance companies are disallowed by law to sell back the damaged vehicle to you, unless the total damaged auto is 9 years or older; or the damage was hail/ wind related- ie the mechanics of the vehicle are still intact-. When the cash settlement is accepted and if you later acquire another vehicle the insurance company may have to pay for you the relevant sales taxes and cost of title transfer, if the purchase takes place within 30 days of the cash settlement date.

In many scenarios you might be in disagreement with what your insurance company is allowing for you in cash settlement. Your auto insurance policy contains provisions concerning such disputes, including submitting the disputed cases for appraisals. In cases like that you will appoint your own appraiser, from your own money, who will deal with the insurance company’s appraiser. In the event that they both failed to agree on a number, the case would be sent to an ‘umpire ‘whose decisions are normally final.

Ed Sneineh, insurance professional for over 20 years, former college educator of insurance, and founder of Insurance Navy, a leader in providing cheap auto insurance quotes, Illinois. Visit our website and get your Cheap SR22 insurance Illinois in 5 minutes or less. Insurance Navy represents major carriers such as AAA, Travelers, Progressive, Hartford, and more than 20 other carriers.

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