In many cases, auto accident insurance claims are handled smoothly and without hassle. The driver contacts the insurance company and provides accident details, the claims adjuster comes by to evaluate the damage and the insurance company sends a check to pay for the damages. In some instances, the claim process can be slowed by factors such as a lack of information, lack of a police report, not notifying the insurance company, the lack of preparation for a recorded statement and disputes over the settlement amount.
Lack of Information
After an accident involving another vehicle, it is important to exchange information, such as name, phone number and proof of insurance with the other driver. If this is not done, it could make it difficult to locate the other driver during the claim investigation, which could increase settlement time. If the other driver is at fault, this could also mean that the faultless driver's insurance company would have to pay the claim.
Lack of a Police Report
In some areas, police are hesitant to file an accident report if the damage appears to be £325 or less. If this occurs and there are no other credible witnesses to an accident, it could result in an at-fault driver changing his story or making false statements during the claim investigation, which could lead to an incorrect settlement. It is advisable to insist on a written report from a police officer whenever possible. If the accident occurs in a car park, a report can be obtained from a security officer if applicable.
Not Contacting the Insurance Company
Even if drivers claim not to be at fault after an accident, they should file the claim with their own insurance company instead of with that of the other driver. Filing with the other carrier could result in a lack of proper service since it may not be as eager to provide assistance. The driver's own carrier is required to provide additional rights, such as those necessary to resolve any dispute that may arise, which also makes contacting it advisable.
Lack of Preparation
In an accident investigation involving another driver, the other driver's carrier will contact the first driver to obtain a recorded statement, usually via telephone. It is important to be prepared for this, since what is said will have an impact on the claim settlement and could even be used against the driver in the event of a lawsuit. It is advisable for drivers to have their own companies prepare them to avoid possible complications.
In some instances, the insured may feel that the settlement offered by the carrier is too low. If the dispute is with the insured's own carrier, a form of arbitration is often the remedy. While sometimes time-consuming, the carrier will usually pay the insured the amount of its initial offer until the matter is settled. If the dispute is with the other driver's carrier, taking legal action may be the only solution.
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