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by Melissa Gilbo, CISR on Oct 27, 2014

It is scary when you are involved in an accident and most of time people simply do not know what to do at the scene of an accident.  I know I would be frazzled and not know what to do or what details I would need to get. It is important to know what to do and how to file a insurance claim when you are involved in an accident or if your home is damaged. So I put together some helpful tips. It might be helpful to keep a copy of the following accident checklist in your glove compartment. Having this information handy will help you think more clearly during the trauma of a car accident.

Below are some helpful tips to help you with a Automobile or Homeowners claim.

Automobile Claims

Important: if you are involved in an auto accident make sure you stop your car, do not leave the scene as hit-and-run policies are severe. If at all possible move your car out of traffic to a safe place or use flares or your hazards to alert on-coming traffic to prevent additional collision.  Check to see if anyone is injured, call an ambulance and do not attempt to move someone who is injured. 

  1. File a police report. Always call the police right away. For car thefts, the sooner the investigation begins, the more the percentage increases that your car will be found. Should an accident involve injury, call 911 right away. Program your cell phone with your local nonemergency number for the police to have handy for all other situations.

  2. Gather the facts. If you are uninjured, exchange information with the other drivers involved and any passengers. Get names, phone numbers and addresses.  Note the item and date of the accident, weather conditions, police officers name, names of witnesses. The more information you have, the better protected you will be.

  3. Take photographs. If your cell phone has the ability to take photos, snap the accident scene and any damage to the automobiles involved, including license plate numbers.

  4. File a claim. You can file a claim 24/7 with your Insurance Company. The sooner you report your accident, the sooner your claim will be processed and repairs or replacement can be made. Even if the accident isn't your fault, report it. Reporting allows us to act as your advocate with the other insurance company.

  5. Accurately fill out insurance forms. Fill out all insurance forms completely using the information you gathered at the accident scene. Return them as quickly as possible. Document everything and keep copies.

Homeowner's insurance loss claims 

  1. Detail the damage. Your insurance company will want to know all the details of your home damage loss. Make a list of all items you want to claim for replacement, find the receipts to prove how much you paid for them and take photos of the damage. (Always keep "before" photos of your appliances, furniture and any other valuable items with your insurance policy).

  2. File a claim. You can file a claim 24/7 with your Insurance Company. A claims adjuster will contact you to arrange appointment to examine damage if necessary.

  3. Keep detailed records. Record all insurance company contacts and conversations, such as names, dates, copies of documents, insurance forms and all correspondence. Take pictures of the damages.

  4. Be proactive. If you receive any forms the sooner you complete them, the sooner you'll have a check in your hands.

    You can visit our website to file a new claim or check on a existing claim.  Some of the companies we represent offer online claims services.  Click here for a list of companies and phone numbers to report a claim.

     

    Photo courtesy of Dreamstime.com

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