Simply put, the best answer to this question is almost always; as quickly as possible. Filing an insurance claim is an incredibly legal process that requires you to follow certain steps at specific points in time if you want to achieve the desired result. Failure to follow these steps could lead to your insurance claim being denied or not paid in full. Being involved in a car accident or having your car stolen is something no one ever wishes for. It’s messy, it’s dangerous, and people could get hurt. It is for these reasons that you should ever find yourself in either of these unpleasant scenarios, and you must guard your wits, first and foremost.
Car insurance is an essential criterion for being on the road. For people who do everything they can to drive carefully and pay their premiums on time, it’s vital you know when to take action in cases of accident or theft so you can enjoy the full benefits of your insurance policy.
If You’re Involved In An Accident
First, you need to make sure you’re okay. Once you’re confident you’re fine, you can contact the authorities, if necessary. If not, it’s always advisable you contact your insurance company immediately after. If you can’t do that right away for some reason, ensure you do so no later than 24 hours after the car accident. The importance of this can’t be overstated. First, the longer you wait to report an accident to your insurer, the harder it is for them to ascertain your claim. Second, it also means you’ll have to wait longer to receive any payout for your insurance claim. Depending on the insurance coverage you operate and the nature of the accident, you are entitled to filing two types of claims:
Own Damage Claim
You can only file this claim to your insurer if you are on a comprehensive insurance policy. As a result of this, however, you may lose the benefits of having a No Claim Discount.
This claim is filed by the insurance company of the other party involved in the accident. It is only valid if it has been confirmed that you bear no fault in causing the accident. In this case, it doesn’t matter what insurance plan you’re on. Consequently, your NCD is left untouched.
If Your Car Has Been Stolen
Report this incident to the proper authorities at once! Contact your insurer immediately after. Keep in mind that you can only expect payout if you’ve taken out more than the basic car insurance package. In cases of car theft, you can usually expect a payout from your insurer after about six months. Typically, this is how long it takes for the police to close such cases.
Types of Damages You Can Claim
Pain and suffering to your person or passengers resulting from the accident are filed under here. You can only claim this compensation from the insurer of the other party involved in the accident. That means that the other driver has to be deemed responsible for the accident to receive any payment. Therefore, the amount of compensation you get here depends on how involved you were in causing the accident.
This claim covers any of the following expenses resulting from the accident. The type of insurance you have will determine the extent to which these expenses are covered.
- Medical expenses
- Costs of transportation
- Cost of vehicle rental, and so on
You can’t control how or when accidents happen. However, you have control over what you do after they occur.
Contact the appropriate authorities immediately after an accident. Don’t wait more than 24 hours to get in touch with your insurer. Lastly, be sure you understand the extent to which your insurance coverage financially protects you.