Over the years we've heard many stories from clients with different experiences with their claims after an accident. So we want to help you understand what information you need to make the process speedier. We also want to help you understand why a claim might take a while to get some answers.
Information you need if you get into an accident (at fault or not)
- Name, contact info, and driver's license # of driver(s) involved in the accident (we recommend taking a photo of the license, so you don't forget any information)
- Photos of the vehicles involved. Make sure you take multiple angles, close and far, so that the adjusters can get a clear view of where the damage is. Taking these photos helps with the following information that you will need to give your adjuster as well:
- License plate number
- The color, make and model of the vehicles involved in the accident
- The time and place where the accident happened
- Were there any witnesses? Get their contact information
- Were there any cameras in the area that might be useful for your claim? Take a look around just in case or go back to the scene of the accident to double check.
We recommend that you get a police report if: there are multiple cars are involved, if someone was injured, if someone doesn't want to cooperate or if the damages are very apparent. Most of the time, if an officer is involved, they'll say that you don't need any of that information we stated in the list above because they'll put it in their report, but YOU DO need it. If you wait for the report it will take longer for your adjuster to process your claim. A police official will give you a card with the report number, which you can provide to your adjuster, but like I mentioned previously, obtaining that report from the police station takes time, which leads to a longer wait to finalize your claim. The more information you can provide your adjuster up front = a faster claim.
The other party isn't cooperating
If for some reason, the other person involved is not cooperating by giving you their contact info or insurance, the photos you took of the vehicles and information you write down about where and when the accident happened is still useful. Also, calling the police in this case is helpful so they can make a report and get the information that the other party doesn't want to share with you.
Making your claim
Always report the claim with your insurance and the insurance carrier of the other party. It's important to contact both carriers so that you can give your side of the events that happened, otherwise the adjusters will rely on a one-sided story.
This varies depending on how serious the accident is. It takes anywhere from 3 weeks to 2 months to get things wrapped up. It's always important to follow up with your adjusters if you haven't heard from them, especially if an adjuster tells you they will call you in a specific time frame. Whenever you call and have to leave a voicemail, make sure to state your full name, claim number, and contact information. Adjusters are juggling a few cases at the same time, so it's helpful if you want a speedy response. If all else fails and you feel like your claim is taking a long time, call or visit your agent for some help. We always try to accommodate our insured the best we can.
We understand that this is a lot of information, but we hope that it was useful. It's a good idea to take a screenshot of the list above and share it was someone who you would call if you were in an accident so that they can help calm your nerves and walk you through the information needed. You can also call your insurance agent (AM/PM Insurance Agency, Inc 323-277-2850) so that they can remind you as well.
Stay safe on the road and give us a call for a free insurance quote.