What Happens To Car Insurance in The Event of an Accident

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When Apple programmers Kit Cutler’s Ford Focus was slammed from behind by a silver Lexus and the impact was so strong that it forced Kit’s car right into Honda Accord in front of him. There was no injury to the body at the scene, however, that driver in the silver Lexus went on to leave without providing any information about his auto insurance to anyone. Cutler and the driver of the Accord swapped insurance details, made a report with the police, and then went back home. The incident was just a little more confusing for Cutler than the insurance claims process which came shortly.

By itself, insurance coverage is difficult to comprehend, but the insurance claims process can be more complicated. Most people only file a claim every eight to 10 years, says Jeanne Salvatore, vice president for public affairs and spokesperson for the consumer at the Insurance Information Institute which is an industry-backed non-lobbying organization that is dedicated to increasing understanding among the public of insurance.

Cutler claimed the phone. In that initial interview, the agent told me very quickly that I wasn’t at fault,” Cutler claims. After that, she asked him questions about the incident and he filled in his answers on an online form. Cutler confirmed and checked the details.

They go through it all very quickly, so you have to pay attention, He states. I hadn’t been within an misadventure before, or I did not know such as was running on.

This article describes the role of insurance following an auto accident or crash. It also explains what happens when you’re struck by an uninsured or underinsured driver, and how insurance companies work behind the scenes to settle the claims.

Immediately After the Accident

If you’ve been involved in an accident Salvatore suggests that the very first step is to notify your insurance company about the details of what transpired and give them all details.

From the 2nd about the accident, keep helpful records. Make use of your smartphone, or keep an account in your glovebox. You can record the dates, time the plate number, model, and make of the car that was driven by another driver as well as their registration details as well as license number and name, as well as the insurance company’s name, and contact details. Auto insurance is available to assist you, but you must aid by filling in the gaps in the event of an accident.

If police officers are present on their way to the spot, Salvatore says, take the names of the officers as well as badge numbers. Find the names of witnesses and record whether emergency medical professionals were requested. Photos are helpful. Take pictures of the car and the license plate, she suggests. If the claim is straightforward, thou can also now not need some regarding it, however agreement a problem occurs, thou necessity every the data possible.

With the widespread use of smartphones today it’s easy to accomplish.

In the process of filing the claim until the resolution of it, each automobile insurance company’s processes differ. However, the basic elements of the process are common. It’s only a small portion of the process, however. All discussions between insurance companies over repayments and payments will go through behind the scenes.

Filing Your Claim

Like Cutler’s situation, it’s normal for your insurance company to contact you shortly after you have reported an accident. In the phone call, we’ll match the person to their policy, determine what happened in the accident, find out about any injuries, the extent of damage to both vehicles and get some demographic information, says Mike Flato, a process director at Progressive Insurance. We’ll edit certain anybody is OK; condition not, what passed off or after who’ll manage the clinical claims.

When a claim is made and your insurance company will assign you an adjuster who will be your contact from that point on. Adjusters work with teams to examine medical reports and investigate the accident. They interview witnesses, examine the scene, assess the damage to the vehicle, handle all repairs and medical treatment, verify the coverage of all policies (how much your insurance pays for injuries to the body and property damage), and then determine fault.

The claims process is the business of the insurance company, claims Salvatore. Every state of affairs is different, then the higher organized thou are, the less difficult the claims method is.

While adjusters are at work to make adjustments, medical care and automobile repairs are immediately initiated by the insurance company taking care of its own driver’s injuries as well as property damage. The procedure that involves making you whole is called indemnification. The insurance company compensates you and not the reverse. After the insurance companies determine the fault, they agree on which will pay the other the number of claims that are paid.

Who’s at Fault?

As with many aspects of insurance coverage for vehicles, fault determination isn’t always a straightforward problem. Liability laws don’t govern how you assess fault, states John Murphy, service center manager with Progressive Insurance. They advice whether much thou be able accumulate then anybody is eligible. So, the determination of fault is the responsibility of insurance companies.

There may be an allocation of fault, such as 60/40, states Scott Spriggs, a member of the Insurance Council of Texas. In that case, payments may be apportioned by percent of the fault. In other words, the insurer of the driver that is at fault for 60 percent is responsible for 60 percent of claims, while the other is responsible for the remaining.

Sometimes, if one party is allocated more than 50 percent of the fault, that driver’s insurance company pays for everything, Spriggs adds. In no-fault states, each driver’s insurance company pays for its own customer’s claims.

If one person is entirely blamed, it’s more straightforward. In at-fault states, at-fault drivers try to collect from their insurance, whereas the person who is not at fault collects from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, Salvatore states.

When an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver Hits You

It could be surprising however, the procedure does not change significantly when underinsured or uninsured drivers are involved.

Each state has its own rules about what qualifies as uninsured and underinsured, Murphy says. Murphy. If an uninsured driver crashes into you and injures you, your insurance company will pay you, the insurance company declares. However, you must possess collision coverage or coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists for your insurance company to cover your car’s damage. Following any payments made to you by your insurance company, the carrier will try to find the uninsured driver and get reimbursement for its payments, He says.

The good news is that Cutler obtained a picture of Lexus’s license from the driver of the Accord. The picture meant that Cutler’s insurance company was able to locate the driver who was hit and run and request reimbursement for the $11,000 they paid to fix the car of Cutler. Due to the photo, Cutler states that his insurance company waived his deductible.

Every state, except New Hampshire and Virginia, requires auto liability insurance. New Hampshire requires that drivers reserve funds in case of an accident, However, Virginia does not, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The institute claims that your odds of running into an uninsured motorist within the United States are about one-seven.

When a driver is uninsured the insurance company will cooperate with the insurance company of the other party to settle any claim you have, Spriggs says. As an example, suppose that the policy of the underinsured driver will cover up to $5,000 worth of property damage, but your car sustained $10,000 damages. In that scenario, the insurance company will pay for $5,000 while your insurer will cover the remainder of $5,000. Your insurance company will direct the driver who is not insured and request reimbursement of its payment to you.

Although claims adjusters are the ones who determine the source of the fault, subrogation units rely on those determinations to determine which insurance company pays what and how much they pay.

Subrogation is the substitution of one creditor for another, Spriggs declares. If I am hit by someone else, my insurance company will cover that damage. That is you can substitute one creditor -your insurance company in exchange for another creditor, which is the insurance company of the other driver. This is called subrogation. And, naturally, your insurer will seek reimbursement from the other business as well as the motorist.

In the case of Cutler, there was no fault on his part or that of his Accord driver was to blame. So the driver’s insurance company paid the claim of its customer. Subrogation was not involved.

How Carriers Resolve Payment Disputes

Once each carrier has completed their investigation into claims, one insurance company will send a demand [for payment] to the other, Murphy states. That will be countered. The carriers will then work out liability and who pays what. Most of the time, we make the appropriate payments. The faster we can do that, the faster we can payout.

If the parties aren’t able to agree on the amount to be paid, they may seek a judgment through arbitration forums which is a nonprofit organization that’s funded by industry established to resolve disputes between insurance companies.

For arbitration, the two companies apply and present all their information, Murphy states. The arbitration panel makes a decision. These decisions are binding and final, with no right of appeal.