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How to file an insurance claim after an accident: Do these things

Filing an insurance claim after a motor vehicle accident sounds easy enough. You call your agent, provide some information and wait for them to provide you with all the compensation you deserve.

While it would be nice if things worked out this way, it's very rare. There is a lot that goes into protecting your legal rights when filing a claim, so it's a must that you take these five key steps:

  • Review your policy: Before you pick up the phone, review your policy to understand the type of coverage you have. This is your contract with your insurance company, so you need to know it from front to back.
  • Don't delay: As soon as you're able to do so, such as after receiving medical treatment, contact your insurance agent to start the claims process. Depending on your provider, you may also be able to do this online.
  • Be careful of what you share: You can say a lot to your insurance agent, with some details working against you. It's okay to share the basics, but don't let your agent force you into saying too much.
  • Take notes: Every time you speak with your insurance agent or another company representative, write down the person's name, date, time and what you discussed. These notes could be necessary in the future, such as in the event of a disagreement.
  • Collect evidence: You should suspect your insurance company to do whatever they can to pay out the least amount of money possible. That's why you need to collect as much evidence as you can. For example, photos of the accident scene and your injuries can help. The same holds true of medical records.

Don't let your insurance company trick you into thinking they're on your side. While it's critical to provide accurate and honest information, you don't want to share too much before you understand your legal rights, the claims process and the steps you can personally take to obtain the compensation you deserve.

You file a car insurance claim with the idea of receiving compensation based on the policy you've been paying for. When you know what you're doing, it's easier to ensure that this happens.

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