March 20, 2010

Common Mistakes That Drivers Make When Filing An Auto Insurance Claim

Any motor vehicle accident is a traumatic experience. For many, carefully laid plans to collect the other driver’s information and take clear photos of the event are lost when the first crashing noise is heard and your car deforms from its intended shape. After the dust settles, however, and you’ve managed to collect what information you need, you now have to approach your auto insurance company and start the claim process. Many drivers, often unwillingly, do things that can damage their claim without even realizing it. Here are a few common mistakes made by drivers.

The first is waiting too long. This is typically because the damage doesn’t look that bad, or the other driver promises to pay in cash, and soon. While this is a perfectly viable option, you pay your auto insurance premium so that your provider will both protect your car and fight on your behalf. Often, promises of money turn out to be just that – they lack any action, and you are left with a broken car two months after the accident occurred. This can make determining damage and fault a great deal more difficult for your insurance company, and can result in either less money than you are actually entitled to or no money at all. The next mistake that many drivers make is not calling to get advice. Everyone remembers the nice, low auto insurance quote they got when they first signed on with the insurance company, and no one wants that to change. Too many people have heard horror stories of insurance companies raising rates simply because a client called in to ask a question. While this has actually happened, most states have policies in place to prevent such actions, and any insurance company worth its salt will simply answer your questions honestly.

One other large mistake that drivers filing insurance claims often make, is that they are not completely honest. This may be due to embarrassment or a desire to see the greatest payout possible, but it is always a bad idea. The other driver, and any witnesses, will be providing statements, and the insurance company will be sending out an adjuster to look at your vehicle. If you have been less than forthcoming, the truth will come out, which will almost certainly result in a larger auto insurance premium, at minimum.

Although there are some companies that make auto insurance claims extremely difficult, these are becoming the exception rather than the norm. If this is the case, it may be time to seek new car insurance quotes. If, however, your insurance company deals honestly with you, show them the same courtesy and report quickly, honestly, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.