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How To Resolve Your Auto Insurance Claim Quickly

Friday, July 30th, 2010

No one likes the auto insurance claim process. Unfortunately, there’s a high chance this will happen at some point over the course of your policy. Claims can greatly affect auto insurance quotes, especially for drivers who have never been involved in a claim before. The worst part is that claims can take several months to resolve. During this time, your insurance company will often send in claim investigators. There may be lengthy court cases as well. This is usually between your insurer, their insurer and other parties if you live in a tort state. Regardless, there are a number of ways to expedite the process of your claim.

First of all, it’s important to think before you act in an auto insurance claim. This is especially important right after an accident occurs. Avoid admitting fault, and write down every detail pertaining to the accident. If you’re making a non-accident claim, be precise and submit it to your insurance agent as soon as possible. Details can help prove your side of the story. If you can effectively show that you deserve compensation, there’s a better chance that you’ll receive timely remedies. Basically, the faster you report the incident, the faster your insurance agent can act in your favor.

There are times, of course, where an agent cannot act in your favor. To ensure a hassle free experience, avoid costly mistakes by following proper protocol. Make sure you’re following the insurance company’s policies exactly. Ask how long the process will take, and make sure to keep records of all of correspondence with the insurance company. This is especially important for any documents you sign or emails. If worse comes to worse, and you launch a complaint against your insurance company for claim delay, you’d want to have all the facts on your side. Simple record keeping can be extremely helpful to your case.

If you feel that your insurance company is intentionally avoiding claim payment, you need to contact your state insurance commissioner’s office. This is the legal office, which controls insurance laws in your state. They’ll be able to tell you what rights you have, and if necessary, will investigate insurer complaints. Making an official complaint will not affect your future auto insurance quotes. In fact with tedious cases, it can be a necessary step in expediting your auto insurance claim. If you want to resolve a claim as quickly as possible, it’s important to take note of the information provided here. Talking with your insurance agent and anyone else involved will help you get the information you need and help you stay ahead of the process.

How Long Before A Drivers Auto Insurance Quotes Change After An Accident

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Having an accident is stressful enough. But as any driver knows, the fallout from the accident itself is only the beginning. An auto insurance premium increase is nearly always sure to follow, and navigating the longer term impact of handling auto insurance claims, plus negotiating for a new auto insurance quote, can take even longer. This is why it is important to know what to expect and how to handle changes to auto insurance following an accident.

Drivers in search of an industry standard are in for a rude awakening – even a cursory inspection of different carriers reveals that no such standard is currently in place. Auto insurance premium increase rates, time lapse between auto insurance claim settlements and insurance rate increases vary widely. While auto insurance carriers are required to file what is called a “surcharge schedule” with each state in which they operate, these schedules can read like Sanskrit to the unskilled eye, and the insured is often left to their own devices to decipher the financial impact of rate surcharges after an auto insurance claim is filed. This can vary by number of insured on a single policy, number of vehicles, length of time as a policy holder, and more. Even for the fortunate few whose carriers offer a first-timer accident-forgiveness clause, which means that for the first accident no rate increase will be imposed, only certain applicants who fit certain criteria are eligible for such benefits. Devoting the extra time to researching whether a carrier offers accident forgiveness and under what circumstances can pay off in the event of an accident. Similarly, accepting a slightly higher monthly rate in exchange for such protective measures can be a bargain over time.

For many individuals involved in an accident, the rate increase will not appear until renewal time. But when it does appear, the increase can carry a whopping punch – most carriers hike rates between 20 and 40 percent of the insured’s current premium. Once again, it is important for a new policy applicant to ascertain the potential impact to insurance premiums in the event of an accident to avoid being swayed by low up-front auto insurance rates. Similarly, it is important to know how long the rate increase will last, and which types of accidents will incur a rate hike. Some states and carriers penalize for all violations, while others distinguish between moving, parking, and fault or no-fault incidents. Be wary of insurance agents who are unwilling to answer these basic questions about rate increases in the event of an accident. A little extra time and persistence in seeking out a quality auto insurance quote now will be worth it in the long run.

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