Filing an auto insurance claim is something nobody looks forward to, but it’s part of life on the road… especially if you live in Calgary, where there’s heavy traffic and unexpected weather incidences to worry about every month of the year. The number one piece of general advice that insurance brokers give in regard to the claims process it this:
Collect as much information as you possibly can.
This advice applies to any claim you might make, but particularly to auto claims.
The Information You Need to Submit an Auto Insurance Claim
Here are the essentials you’ll need to submit to your insurance provider to open a new auto insurance claim:
- The full names and addresses of all people involved in the incident
- Details regarding any injuries or property damage that resulted from the crash, regardless of who was at fault (if anyone)
- The facts and circumstances of the incident, including where it took place, the time at which it took place, the direction you were travelling, road and visibility conditions at the time of the incident, and the speed at which you were travelling
If other drivers were involved, it is also recommended that you get the name of their insurance provider, and their policy number, if possible. However, do not put yourself at risk to do so.
While not necessary, it is also a good idea to collect these supplemental forms of information to submit to your insurance company:
- Photographs of the scene of the incident, and of any damage to your vehicle
- Police reports (which are required in cases involving more than $2,000 in property damage in Alberta)
- Statements from people who witnessed the crash (if you are not at fault)
Your auto insurance provider will inform you if you need any other documentation, but the aforementioned items will be enough to initiate a new claim.
More Tips to Help the Auto Insurance Claims Process
Insurance experts also emphasize the importance of making the right decisions regarding your behaviour in the aftermath of an accident or crash.
- Stay calm
- Turn on your hazard lights if your damaged vehicle is obstructing a traffic route
- Call for emergency assistance if anyone is injured
- Avoid confrontations with other people involved in the incident
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible
You should not:
- Admit fault or culpability to anyone, including other people involved in the crash, witnesses, or police officers responding to the scene
- Enter into an informal agreement with other involved parties to settle damages “off the books”
- Pay cash for damages at the scene
What Your Insurance Company Does When You Open a New Claim
It’s also helpful to understand what happens after you’ve opened a new claim. In the initial stages of the claims resolution process, your insurance company will:
- Review your policy details and previous driving history
- Confirm your description of the details of the incident
- Compare your account of the incident with police reports or other official investigations
Your insurance company will then let you know if any further documentation or information is needed.
In cases where there is doubt as to what happened, or if circumstantial evidence supports more than one conflicting account of what happened, your insurance company may choose to conduct its own investigation. This is rare, but you will be notified if this happens and informed of your rights and responsibilities.
During the final stages of the process, your claim will be approved or denied, and the amount of your claim will be determined. Your insurance company will then offer you a payment. If your claim has been denied, you have recourse available that allows you to file an appeal. The Insurance Bureau of Canada offers detailed information on the claim dispute resolution process.
Count on Lane’s for Trustworthy Auto Insurance Advice
One of the best reasons to choose Lane’s Insurance for your Calgary auto insurance is that we offer some of the best claims support in the Canadian insurance industry. You can always count on the brokers at Lane’s to fight for your rights and ensure you receive the full compensation you are entitled to under the law, and according to the terms of your policy.
If you have any questions about the auto insurance claims process, or about auto insurance in general, please contact Lane’s Insurance. If you’re looking for a competitive quote on your auto coverage, you can also get one online, fast and free, from the trusted professionals at Lane’s.