Most people don't enjoy dealing with their insurance company, but when your car is damaged or stolen, it's something that you simply must do. If you want your insurance claim to be handled quickly and properly, it's a good idea to follow each step carefully and adhere to any specific instructions that are given. Regardless of the specific details, the basic steps are more or less the same.


When to File

Everyone knows to file after an accident, but you should also file a claim whenever your vehicle has been vandalized or stolen, or if there's damage due to a non-accident. Non-accident damage could be due to a fallen tree limb, hail, or other weather-related events. In these cases, always include pictures and detailed information. Don't disturb the scene, if possible, so you can record the damage exactly as it is. However, you should never put yourself or anyone else in danger to do so. If your car was stolen or vandalized, you'll need to speak with the police. They should confirm identification and write up a report for you. You can provide the case number to your insurance company, and they'll receive a copy of the report. Again, any pictures or other evidence you can provide can be very helpful.


What Information You'll Need

You'll need your full name and policy number, as well as the beginning and ending dates of the policy. The date and time of the incident should be reported, along with the names, phone numbers, and addresses of all persons involved. This gives you witnesses to help support your claim. If relevant, you should record and report the driver's licenses and license plate numbers of all involved parties.


Some insurance companies will want you to complete a sworn statement detailing other information as well. This could include things like the time of day, weather, road conditions, and more. Keep track of any harm not only to the vehicle but to people or other property as well. Be sure to take photos of any damage.


How to Follow the Claim

Once you have contacted your insurance company and filed the claim, you can follow up. Your case will be assigned to a representative at your insurance provider, and at some point, you should have a meeting with that claims professional. An evaluation will be performed, and you should receive a copy of that evaluation. The evaluation process typically includes examining the car itself, and the company will collect the police report, photos, and any sworn statements. The resolution of the case includes the payment itself, which goes directly to the business doing the repairs. If injuries were suffered, medical bills are paid to the hospital.


Record the name, number, and any other contact information you have for the claims representative. If you have difficulty reaching a resolution with the insurance company, you may need to speak with an attorney. A personal injury lawyer in Bradenton, FL, likely has many years of experience in dealing with insurance providers and expediting the process.