My Car Accident and Insurance Claim Part 2

Last week, I introduced the topic of Sheri’s and my car accident, which happened three weeks ago, and outlined what to do if you’re involved in an accident while at the accident scene. This week, I will outline the claim process we went through and how a decision we made a few months ago on our car’s coverage shaped our options. Maybe our experience will help you navigate a car insurance claim.

Claim Process

 I walked home after all the information was exchanged and our car was towed to the body shop. Our accident occurred less than half a mile from our home, which reminded me most car accidents occur within 5 miles of an individual’s home. The walk gave me time to organize my thoughts and outline the steps we’d take in the claim process.

I rescheduled my appointments for the rest of the day and began making phone calls. The first call I made was to the car insurance company’s claims department for the person who hit us. I knew they would ultimately be determined to be at fault for the accident, and I needed a couple of pieces of information including the claim number, the name of the claim adjuster, and their contact information. Once I obtained that, I called the adjuster and left a voice mail message.

I called the body shop and provided them with the claim information so they’d have that on file when an adjuster went to examine our car for damage. This information is needed whether the other company chose to repair our car or determined it to be a total loss.

I then called our car insurance company and talked with a claim representative. The purpose was to review our coverage which would confirm what my options were. Since we’d dropped collision coverage a few months ago, and the other person was insured with a standard national company, we’d have to negotiate our settlement with their adjuster not ours.

The other company’s claim adjuster called and informed me the call would be recorded while she obtained my statement. This is standard operating procedure for any claim call, which means it’s vitally important to have your facts straight when this call occurs. Anything that’s incorrectly said can be used against you as the company determines who’s at fault or liable.

I relayed what happened, where it happened, and what their client said. I also provided my information including driver license, address, and time the accident occurred. In addition, I gave her the police report number and relayed what the officer stated regarding their client not yielding the right of way to the Escalade in the turn lane. She admitted their client was at fault, and then we outlined the steps they’d take and provided her with information on the rental car we’d picked up from Enterprise.

We dealt with two different claim adjusters; one responsible for the rental car and any medical treatment we sought and one from their total loss department as our car was determined to be a total loss. When dealing with the total loss adjuster, they presented their settlement which I determined was fair, however, we were able to increase the amount of their offer based on repairs made to our car over the past 12 months. This is one reason it’s important to keep repair receipts for your vehicles.

The funds we received for the loss of our vehicle were then used to help purchase our new car, which is an interesting story in itself! Our process was made easier by our not having to wrestle over who was at fault. In addition, the other company didn’t nickel and dime our claim and they handled it quickly. What I don’t know is whether or not we could have received more for our car had we not dropped collision coverage earlier which reminds me about hindsight being 20/20.

What questions, comments, or experiences do you have? Share them with me on my Facebook, Google +, and LinkedIn pages. I’d love to hear from you!

Evie Wise
Evie Wise


Evie Wise
Evie Wise

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