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Dealing with Car Insurance Companies

Dealing with car insurance companies is ordinarily simple at the outset of coverage. When you first sign on for a policy and hand over the premium check, the relationship is usually smooth sailing. Insurers and insured policy holders both normally put their best foot forward at this stage of the relationship. One of the most common times for trouble between these two parties is in the aftermath of an auto accident. An auto insurance policy holder trying to deal with a car insurance provider has to keep a level head and work with some understanding in order to avoid getting taken advantage of in the claims process.

Auto accidents are scary situations. The prospect of sharing the road with drunks, careless drivers and those who just don't focus on the task at hand when they get behind the wheel can make for a harrowing experience for policy holders. But the fear of an accident is not the only thing that should make you tremble. Worse yet in some cases is the claims process that follows an accident. Opening a claim, working within the time limits set forth by the insurer, and generally being aware of your rights as a policy holder can sometimes be very difficult things to do.

Auto Insurance Claims Process

The process of filing an auto insurance claim should not be difficult in theory. As a policy holder who has been involved in an accident, you open a claim, get estimates for the loss, get a reimbursement check and move on. But in reality, auto insurance policy language can be ambiguous enough to cause problems in the claims process. Some insurance companies may even try to avoid their responsibilities entirely in an effort to get out of paying on a claim. One of the most important rules of thumb for consumers to go by when they have an accident is to retain a good attorney specializing in auto accident claims. Quality legal representation can help policy holders work their way through the often muddled claims process, and can be especially beneficial if the other party involved in the accident files a civil suit or if the insurance company tries to deny the claim for any reason.

Many drivers do not opt to hire legal representation. Whether or not you do decide to go this route, there are some important items to keep in mind as the process rolls along. First of all, remember that if you believe the other driver was at fault in the collision, you are legally entitled to file suit against that negligent driver. You can sue for medical and property damage expenses, as well as for the cost of rehabilitation, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other related losses. On the flip side, the other driver is equally free to file suit against you. In some cases where there was no clear cut at fault driver, both parties do end up filing litigation against one another. It is in these situations where the help of a good attorney can be of great benefit. Your insurer ought to provide financial coverage for legal representation in these cases.

Take Action at Accident Scene

It is always good to prepare ahead for these situations, since you never know when they may come up. Keep a disposable camera in the glove compartment of your vehicle, as well as a current insurance card and emergency contact information including phone numbers for local law enforcement. It is also good to keep a small notebook and writing utensil handy as well. If an accident happens, you can use it to take down pertinent information on the scene. Take notes on road conditions, vehicle damage, and any other information that might be important.

Contact your insurance company and the police right away. Get a police report even after a minor accident because doing so could help with the claims process a little bit later on down the line. Get a claim started as soon as possible. Insurers may have time limits on opening claims. What's more, if you can get an adjuster out to survey the scene right away, you are more likely to get paid quickly and to experience a smooth claims process. When dealing with car insurance companies, do everything they expect of you and make their job easier to help promote your cause.

Simplify Auto Insurance Claims Process

This may be your very first car accident, but auto insurance companies have been through all of this many times before. Simplify the whole auto insurance claims process by playing their game and operating according to their rules. Your best bet as an auto policy holder is to do everything you can to keep things simple when you are dealing with car insurance companies.

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