How to File an Auto Insurance Claim

No one wants to be in a car accident or have their vehicle damaged in any way. Unfortunately, accidents happen, and if you are looking to file an auto insurance claim, you need to know the ins and outs. Whether you are making a claim against someone else, or you are using your own insurance to fix the problem, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we talk about how to file an auto insurance claim, common reasons why they are denied, and what to do if your claim is denied. We also provide an overview of the different types of car insurance to give you a basic understanding of what each type covers. So, buckle up and read on to make sure you know what to do if you are ever involved in an accident.

Making an Insurance Claim Against Someone Else

If you’ve been in an auto accident that wasn’t your fault, you may want to file a third-party auto insurance claim to cover damages to your vehicle or recover personal injury costs. You can make a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. However, this can lead to a long process, which may include an investigation in case of disputes.

It’s important not to admit fault at the accident scene or on the phone with the insurance company, as this can jeopardize your claim. Instead, you should exchange details with other drivers and witnesses and notify your insurer as soon as possible. After that, the insurance company will contact you with the next steps.

If the claim is successful, the insurance company might pay out on your policy, but they have the right to recover damages by filing a subrogation claim against the third-party at-fault driver. Always cooperate with your insurance company’s subrogation efforts to avoid future problems.

Using Your Own Insurance to Fix the Problem

If you have the Collision or Upset Coverage option in your auto insurance policy, your insurance company will compensate you for repairing or replacing your vehicle regardless of whose fault it was. If the accident is your fault or no fault is known, you should file a claim with your collision policy to receive coverage. In addition, insurance companies have the right to recover damages paid out by a third party liable for the accident.

However, if the car’s damage is less than your deductible and no one else is involved, you won’t need to file a claim. It’s important to keep in mind that you cannot sign an agreement that releases the other party responsible for the accident in exchange for the payment of your deductible because this will endanger the company’s recovery rights.

Situation No. 1: No-fault states

In no-fault states, each driver’s insurance company covers their own medical bills and lost wages, regardless of fault. However, vehicle damage is determined by fault. Personal injury protection coverage pays for injury claims in no-fault states, with no need to determine fault to receive the insurance payment. Insurance adjusters investigate and determine fault in no-fault states, affecting the claim outcome based on state negligence laws.

If you are at fault in a no-fault state, you must file a claim with your own insurer. Not-at-fault drivers can file with the liable driver’s insurance or their own. At-fault drivers’ liability insurance covers everyone else’s bills and repairs, except in no-fault states where each driver covers their own expenses. It’s important to understand the specific laws in your state when filing an auto insurance claim so that you can navigate the process more effectively.

Situation No. 2: An underinsured driver

If you’re involved in an accident with an underinsured driver, you may need to turn to your own insurance to fix the problem. In this situation, you may be able to use your uninsured motorist coverage to cover the costs of repairs or medical expenses. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you may be able to sue them to recover damages.

To ensure you’re protected in this type of scenario, it’s important to document the incident and take pictures if possible. This can help to show what happened and who was at fault.

Filing an insurance claim can be complicated, but it’s worth it if you’re injured in an accident. If you’re not sure whether you can use your own insurance or need legal advice, speak to a lawyer. They can help guide you through the process and ensure you get the best outcome possible.

Situation No. 3: Not dealing with it

When it comes to using your own insurance to fix a problem, there are a few things to keep in mind. In no-fault states, your insurer is required to pay for a portion of your medical bills regardless of fault. If you have collision coverage, it will pay for car repairs or replacement regardless of fault, minus your deductible. However, if you only have liability coverage, it will only pay for damages you cause to other people or their vehicles.

If you’re at fault in an accident, file a claim with your collision policy. And be prepared to receive a bill for any medical or property damage expenses that go beyond your liability limits. Whatever the situation, it’s important to understand your insurance coverage and how it can help you in the event of an accident.

Situation No. 4: Getting stuck with a car loan balance

If you find yourself in a situation where you owe more on your car loan or lease than what your car is worth after an accident, gap insurance can provide financial help. This type of insurance covers the “gap” between what you owe on the vehicle and what it’s worth. Additionally, if your car is deemed a write-off by the insurance company, you may be able to negotiate with them to keep the vehicle. However, you will need to provide evidence of the car’s value, such as comparing prices or an independent valuation.

If the cost of repairing your vehicle exceeds its value, you can expect to receive a check for your car’s value and the insurance company will keep your wrecked vehicle. Always check with your insurance provider before filing a claim, as high deductibles or minor damage may not warrant compensation and can result in long-term rate increases. It’s also important to note that high-value or new cars may require significant damage to cause a total loss, while older vehicles may have a total loss with minor damage.

Make sure you’re OK and stay safe

If you need to file an auto insurance claim to fix a problem, make sure you’re okay and in a safe location first. Check for injuries and move your car to the side of the road if possible. If there are injuries, call 911 and stay calm while waiting for help to arrive. Try to minimize road rage and exchange driver information, including contact information and insurance policies. If possible, wait inside your car for the police to arrive to ensure your safety.

After the incident, contact your insurance company and follow their claims process. Be sure to provide all relevant information, including the details of the accident and any damage to your car or other property. Your insurance company will guide you through the next steps and help you get your car repaired as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Exchange information

If you need to use your own insurance to fix an auto accident problem, there are some important steps to take. First and foremost, exchange information with the other driver involved in the accident, and provide your insurance information. Document property damage and medical expenses to negotiate a fair settlement with the claims adjuster, and consider using the “Appraisal Provision” in your policy to settle any loss amount disputes with the insurer.

It’s important to note that insurance companies have specific obligations when it comes to processing your claim. They must acknowledge the claim, investigate, and provide assistance within 15 days, and must accept or deny the claim within 40 days of receiving proof. To stay prepared for filing claims, consider printing a car accident checklist or downloading your insurer’s mobile app.

Take photos

If you are using your own insurance to fix the problem after an accident, one of the key things you need to do is take photos of the damage and any other contributing factors. Use your cell phone camera to capture pictures of the damage to your car and the other vehicles involved, as well as any relevant information such as license plates, road conditions, and nearby intersections or road signs.

It’s also important to note the date and time when the photos were taken and gather names and phone numbers of any witnesses. Don’t forget to take a photo of the other drivers’ insurance ID cards to have all the necessary information for insurance claims. Documenting the scene of an accident with photos can serve as valuable evidence and help with your insurance claim.

Get police officer information

After an accident, using your own insurance to fix the problem can seem like a daunting task. However, there are a few steps you can take to make the process go smoothly. First, make sure to get the police officer’s information, including their name, phone number, license plate, and insurance information. This will make it easier to file a claim with your insurance company.

Next, report your claim as soon as possible through the GEICO Mobile app, online, or by phone. It’s important to know the responsibilities of your insurance company, which include advising you of benefits and coverage, acknowledging your claim, and accepting or denying the claim within 40 days.

To ensure a smooth process, contact your insurance company immediately after the accident, regardless of fault, and submit the claim within the time limit stated in your policy. Additionally, documenting the accident with photos and a written summary that includes details of what happened before, during, and after the accident can help streamline the claims process.

Contact your insurance company

If you need to file an auto insurance claim, contacting your insurance company is the first step. Your insurance company will assign an adjuster to investigate your claim and assess the damage to your vehicle. It’s important to provide documentation and evidence to support your claim, especially if you don’t agree with the adjuster’s settlement offer.

When filing a claim, be sure to file it under the correct coverage, which will either be Collision or Upset. This will depend on your fault in the accident. Keep in mind that insurance companies may not always act in your best interest, so having evidence to support your claim is crucial. Overall, using your own insurance to fix the problem can be a straightforward process as long as you follow the necessary steps and provide the appropriate documentation.

Common Reasons Auto Claims Are Denied

Auto insurance claim denials are undoubtedly a frustrating and unfortunate experience for many drivers. Claims are commonly denied due to a range of reasons, such as driving under the influence, intentional damage, or lack of insurance coverage. To ensure the smoothest possible insurance claim process, it is essential to pay close attention to even the minutest of details such as providing accurate information while filing a claim. Using Mercury Insurance’s checklist can be an excellent way of staying prepared. Different types of auto insurance coverage are available, including liability insurance, PIP, and MedPay. Injuries and car repairs can be compensated depending on the coverage opted for. It is to be noted that without proper insurance coverage, filing a claim for reimbursement is difficult, if not impossible.

The accident was avoidable or preventable

While filing an auto insurance claim can help cover the costs of car repairs or injuries after an accident, there are some common reasons why claims are denied. One reason is if the accident was avoidable or preventable, such as letting an unlicensed driver operate the vehicle. In addition, collision or upset coverage, which pays to fix or replace a damaged vehicle regardless of fault, often comes with a deductible.

Collision and comprehensive coverage are usually optional unless required for a car loan or lease. Having collision insurance will cover damages from hitting objects like a pole or another car. It’s important to understand your coverage options and make a claim with your insurance company to get the compensation you need in case of an accident.

You didn’t file a claim in time

Common reasons for auto insurance claims being denied can include not filing the claim in time. It’s important to contact your insurer and submit the claim within the time limit, typically 30 days. Each insurer and state has a different deadline for filing a claim, so it’s important to check with your insurer promptly to make sure you don’t miss the deadline. In California, the statute of limitations to sue for injuries from a car accident is two years. Deadlines for filing a claim with the courts are governed by state and federal laws called statutes of limitations. It’s also worth noting that the deadline for filing claims for damages (car repairs) in most cases is up to 4 years from the date of the accident. Be sure to take prompt action to ensure your claim is filed in a timely manner to avoid any potential denials.

Delaying medical care

While filing an auto insurance claim can help you recover losses after an accident, it’s important to note that claims can be denied for a variety of reasons. One common reason claims get denied is when medical care is delayed for injuries sustained in the accident. This delay can often cause the insurance company to become suspicious of your claim. It’s crucial to file your auto insurance claim as soon as possible and not overshare or speculate about the accident. Additionally, the insurance company has the right to recover damages paid to you from a third party in a subrogation claim. By following these steps and filing your claim within the insurer’s time limit, you can help ensure a smooth process and hopefully avoid disputes.

What to Do If Your Auto Claim is Denied

Filing an insurance claim after a car accident is a necessary and often complicated process. It’s frustrating when an insurance company denies an auto claim. In such cases, it’s crucial to understand subrogation and ensure that you don’t jeopardize your company’s right to recovery. “Collision coverage” refers to the amount that the insurance company would pay to fix or replace your car if it’s damaged in an accident, minus your deductible.

Documenting every detail and evidence can be crucial in filing a successful auto insurance claim. Use a checklist to collect the vital information you need when filing a claim. Also, remember that without filing an insurance claim, there will be no chance of recovery. In case of a car crash, wait for the police and ambulance services to arrive before taking further action, especially if you are injured. Overall, a car accident can be a frustrating and overwhelming experience. However, being knowledgeable about the process can help ensure a smooth insurance claim process.

Understanding Basic Car Insurance Types for Claims

Car insurance claims can stem from various types of damage, such as accidents, windshield damage, theft/vandalism, animal damage, or weather-related disasters. If you face any of these, know that filing a car insurance claim can be done by gathering evidence and relevant documentation, calling your insurer, and working with a claims adjuster. Before deciding on an insurance company to file with, read your policy to understand your coverage because filing a claim can raise your premiums by 12-45%. The choice of an insurance company and coverage type depends on the extent and cause of the damage. State laws require mandatory auto insurance, and different insurers offer optional coverage types. It’s important to choose a reputable insurer with good ratings and consider optional coverages that fit your needs.

Liability insurance

Understanding the basic types of car insurance coverage is important when filing an auto insurance claim. Liability insurance, for example, covers bodily injury and property damage to the other party involved in an accident where you are at fault. Collision or Upset Coverage, on the other hand, pays to fix or replace your vehicle in an accident, regardless of fault, less the deductible you chose. Additionally, Personal injury protection (PIP) and medical payments (MedPay) offer bodily injury reimbursement for you or your passengers in an accident, regardless of fault.

It’s important to note that an insurance claim is a notice to the insurance company that an incident involving a motor vehicle they covered occurred, and without it, there can be no recovery. Furthermore, the level of liability coverage you choose affects your average car insurance rates, so it’s important to consider it while selecting a policy. By understanding your coverage options, you can ensure that you are prepared to file a claim if you need to and protect yourself against financial losses.

Collision insurance

One of the basic car insurance types that you need to understand when filing an auto insurance claim is collision insurance. This type of coverage is typically optional unless it is required by your car loan or lease. Collision insurance covers damage that is caused by hitting an object or another car.

Another important car insurance coverage to consider when filing a claim is comprehensive coverage. Like collision insurance, this type of coverage is typically optional. Comprehensive coverage covers damages and expenses beyond the car insurance deductible, including theft, weather damage, vandalism, and miscellaneous hazards.

In the event that you are at fault in an accident, it’s important to file a claim with your collision policy. If fault is uncertain or shared, it may be necessary to file a claim with both insurers. Most insurance companies offer digital platforms or checklists to collect the information needed to make an auto claim, and prompt claim filing is key to getting the compensation you deserve.

No-fault auto insurance laws

Understanding the basic types of car insurance is essential when filing an auto insurance claim. In states with no-fault auto insurance laws, parties involved in an accident receive payment from their own insurer without determining who is at fault. Personal injury protection is usually coupled with no-fault insurance and covers medical expenses regardless of fault. However, fault can still be shared in no-fault states, limiting damages. Insurance adjusters investigate and determine fault based on state negligence laws, which can affect the outcome of the claim.

In Michigan, every auto insurance policy has mandatory personal injury protection coverage for medical expenses up to a minimum of $250,000. However, it’s important to note that no-fault laws do not eliminate the risk of being sued, especially in cases of serious injury or death resulting from the accident. Understanding these basic types of car insurance is crucial when filing an auto insurance claim to ensure you have the appropriate coverage and understand your rights and responsibilities.

Personal injury protection

When filing an auto insurance claim, it’s important to understand the different types of coverage available to you. One type of coverage is personal injury protection (PIP), which covers medical expenses regardless of fault. However, true “no-fault” accidents are rare. Collision or upset coverage is another type of coverage that pays to fix or replace your vehicle if it’s damaged in an accident regardless of fault. Additionally, liability insurance is the most basic coverage for vehicles and pays for damages such as medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering. It’s important to note that the minimum liability coverage required by some states may not be adequate with rising medical costs and a litigious society. PIP offers bodily injury reimbursement for passengers, while liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage. Familiarizing yourself with the different types of car insurance coverage can help you make informed decisions when filing a claim.


When it comes to filing an auto insurance claim, the process can be daunting and confusing. Whether you’re making a claim against someone else’s insurance or using your own insurance, it’s essential to stay calm and follow the steps correctly. Remember, the most important thing is to ensure that you and others involved in the accident are safe. If you’re unsure about making a claim, or if your claim was denied, feel free to contact our experts. We can guide you through the process, explain the different types of car insurance, and help you understand how to file an auto insurance claim. Don’t wait until it’s too late – reach out to us for a consultation today.

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