Buying an auto insurance policy is more than fulfilling a legal obligation; it should protect you in case of an accident. However, for the policy to work, you must first protect the cover. The outcome of an auto insurance policy claim depends on following some rules and regulations. An error in the application process may result in delayed, reduced, or rejected claims. Below are the dos and don'ts of filing an auto insurance claim.
The Do's of an Auto Insurance Policy Claim
1. Documentation: An auto insurance cover is valid if you have the right documentation. First, you must have an insurance cover and papers to show the policy is up to date. Then, you must have proof of car ownership. Thus, if ownership has changed, you should have communicated to the insurer. Besides, you must have a valid driving license.
2. First Information Report (FIR): The FIR is a report filed with the police. Ordinarily, when you get into an accident, the first step should be to contact the police. This step ensures that the police receive the information on a cognizable offense as soon as the accident occurs. Typically an FIR is mandatory for the insurer to process a claim.
3. Contact the Insurer: Having contacted the police, you should contact the insurance company through your auto insurance broker or agent. Ideally, most auto insurance policies require a claim application within one or two days after an accident. The sooner you contact them, the better for your claim. Notably, it is important to ensure that you are honest about the accident details.
4. Collecting Evidence: The claim process often requires proof of liability. Consequently, it is important to collect any available evidence for future reference. Importantly, ensure that you take photographs of the scene, car damages, and injuries of all the parties involved. Also, remember to write down the other party's contact details, including the investigating officer and witnesses.
5. Medical Bills: An auto insurance policy also covers personal injuries sustained in the accident. Hence, ensure that you keep all medical records, including bills for the claim process.
The Don'ts in an Auto Insurance Policy Claim
Your auto insurance policy cover may be rejected if you do any of the following things:
- Move your car or that of the other party from the accident scene
- Use alcohol or drugs while driving
- Use your private vehicle as a commercial car
- Engage in violent behavior with the parties involved in the accident
- Engage in informal settlements
Purchasing and maintaining an auto insurance policy goes beyond understanding what the cover includes and excludes. A car owner must follow the dos and don'ts of the claim application process for a fulfilling experience and outcome.