The Auto Insurance Claim Process

Most insurance policies require you to provide your carrier with a Notice of Loss after an accident. In many cases, this is a form that you must complete that provides details of the accident. It is best to contact your carrier as soon as possible after an accident to find out what must be done to start the process. If you wait too long, they may deny coverage.

Your insurer may require you to “tender the defense” of the claim. This simply means that you agree to let the insurance company hire a lawyer and participate in any litigation or settlement matters for you or brought against you by other parties.

After your insurer has provided benefits to you (paid to repair your vehicle, etc.), you must generally sign a document that gives the insurer “subrogation rights”. This means that you are agreeing that the insurance company has made you “whole” and that you give them the right to pursue others who may have been negligent. For example, if a drunk driver damages your vehicle; your insurance company will pay to repair your vehicle. Afterwards, they will attempt to get back what they’ve paid you from the drunk driver’s insurance company.