Various types of automobile claims and the procedure are to be followed while filing car insurance claims. When should you file an auto insurance claim? If the repair cost on your automobile is less than your deductible, it is prudent to pay the costs on your own instead of filing a vehicle insurance claim. Every automobile insurance claim that is made by you will be recorded in your insurance report, however small the amount. There is reluctance on the part of many consumers to file an insurance claim for auto accidents in the fear that it will lead to higher insurance premiums. Though the rules vary from company to company, the standard practice is that premiums are increased by specific percentages for each chargeable claim made against a policy above a specific amount. The time to take a good look at the auto insurance claim procedures and other aspects related to claims is at the time of finalizing the auto insurance policy. It is essential to know what is covered and what isn't in the auto insurance package. Several accidents may cause an insurance company to decide not to renew your policy.
First Party Auto Insurance Claim
When you get into an accident and are covered with collision insurance, the insurance company will pay for the repairs after you have paid your deductible. In some cases, the insurance payment is made to you directly and it is up to you to use those funds for repair work undertaken. The insurance company may make out a payment cheque to you and the body shop where the repairs are to be undertaken. This is done to cut down the cases of fraud. This policy varies from state to state. There can be a situation where the insurance company insists on repairs being undertaken at recommended or preferred auto shops. This will entail direct payment from them to the repair shop in the case of claims on vehicle insurance.
Third Party Auto Insurance Claim:
In the event of another driver smashing into your car, his insurance company pays for the repairs, as you are a third party claimant. In such cases, that insurance company doesn't have any policy contract with you and hence you are paid directly. If such a third party vehicle insurance claim leads to a totaled vehicle, the insurance company of the at-fault party will pay you.
The auto insurance claim procedure starts with a call to the insurance agent as soon as possible, irrespective of who is at fault. Even a minor accident is best reported to the insurance agency. If you fail to report an accident and get sued by the other driver a few weeks later, the insurance company may refuse to honor the policy. You can file your claim for automobile insurance online. The insurance company web site allows you to monitor the progress of your car insurance claim.
If you have been involved in a crash or vehicle accident, remember to note the following, as they are critical when filing claims on auto insurance:
Accident information (location, date, time)
Information about other vehicles (make, model, color, license plate number and description of damage)
Information about other driver (name, address, drivers license number, social security number, insurance agent and company and insurance policy number)
It would also be preferable if you could provide some witness information and description of the accident. It would add credibility to the auto insurance claim report if you could provide details about the Law enforcement and medical assistance extended.
Auto Insurance Rating
An auto insurance rating is decided on the basis of your risk for a claim. Your auto insurance rate online will show an upward trend if you have accidents, tickets or claims on your record. You're driving record, type of car and area of residence along with your claims history and credit score go towards determining the rate for automobile insurance that you are able to get. Your auto insurance rate is increased by occurrences of accidents, speeding tickets and claims. Use an auto insurance rate guide to help you compare rates among different companies. This guide would generally comprise auto insurance companies and the annual vehicle insurance rates they charge for typical driver categories. These rates do not generally include collision and comprehensive coverage's. You can get the best auto insurance rating by getting quotes from several companies. Here are a few tips on getting a good automobile insurance rate:
Avoid companies that cater to high risk drivers if you have a clean driving record.
Increasing your deductibles is one way to secure a competitive automobile insurance rate.
Find out the various discounts that you are eligible for.
Choose a policy with the requisite coverage's.
You can increase your auto insurance premiums by increasing the deductibles. But this will result in a bigger financial burden on you in the event of a claim. Avail of discounts that you are eligible for such as defensive driving, driver education and driving a vehicle with airbags, automatic seatbelts and anti-theft devices. Check out the financial strength and complaint history of the insurance company as also its ratings for auto insurance. Companies offering insurance for automobiles are given a rating based on a combination of factors -- overall experience, claims handling, policy options, pricing and financial strength. The auto insurance company ratings are
A++ and A+ (Superior)
A and A- (Excellent)
B++ and B+ (Very Good)
B and B- (Fair)
C++ and C+ (Marginal)
C and C- (Weak)
Automobile insurance rates are required to be filed publicly. This makes it easier for a customer to compare and select on an appropriate policy. These rates for auto insurance are subject to change.