Claims Process Overview for Auto

The Basic Steps of the Claims Process

Procedures vary depending on your insurance company and your state – if you have any questions ask your adjuster – but in general here’s how the claims process will work:

  1. Contact Your Insurance Company – Contact your agent or insurer to report the accident as soon as possible. Be prepared to provide the following information:
    • Which covered vehicle was involved

    • Who was driving

    • Location and time of the accident

    • A basic description of the accident and the severity of the damage

    • The name and insurance information of the other driver

    • Names and contact information of others involved in the accident and witnesses

Take notes and write down the claim number you’re provided, plus the name and direct phone number of the person you talk to.

  1. File a police report – Your insurance company will request a police report number. If you did not get a police report at the scene, you can still go to a local police station to file a report.

  2. Follow up with insurance adjuster – The insurance company will assign an adjuster to your claim. The adjuster will most likely contact you for additional information. Stick to the facts and avoid speculation when describing what happened. Provide any photographs you took at the scene and the contact information of any witnesses. Remember that the conversation will be recorded and will be used when determining who was at fault. If you are filing a personal injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company, you may want to contact an attorney before this step.

In addition to gathering information about the accident, the adjuster will either inspect the damage to your vehicle or will ask you to take the car to a certified repair shop that will perform the inspection.

      3.  Evaluation - Your adjuster will consider and evaluate the facts and your policy, inspect the damage, and potentially make an initial payment.

      4.  Resolution - The adjuster will authorize a final payment. You’ll sign a release, accepting the payment as payment in full for the case.