car insurance claim pamphlet

Car Insurance Claim Do’s and Don’ts

No matter how great of a driver you are, there is a chance that you will be in a car accident at some point within your life. Accidents happen, and regardless of whether they were your fault, someone else’s fault, or were an “Act of God” accident, you need to know how to protect yourself when filing a car insurance claim. They say that the average for someone to be involved in a collision of some kind is every 7 years.

Use this blog as your personal guide to filing a claim, what to use, and how to protect yourself from things like rising rates, being dropped by your insurance, or completely destroying your reputation with your company. Here at Collision Center of Andover, we offer Insurance Claim Assistance – various car insurance companies have partnered with us to fast track vehicle repairs. More information may be found here.

When should I file a car insurance claim?

It doesn’t matter if you were in an accident with another person, a tree, or a golf-ball sized piece of hail, you need to contact your car insurance company ASAP after a car collision. Do not wait a few days, especially if it makes your car inoperable or unsafe to drive.

Remember that you will also need to file a car insurance claim if your vehicle is vandalized, stolen, and damaged from a non-accident event.

If you are having trouble finding your insurance agent’s number, you should simply look at the front of your insurance card. If your card isn’t available (due to an accident or if it was ruined in a fire), you should also be able to look online.

What will I need when I file a car insurance claim?

According to DMV.org, you will need the following information when you are making a claim:

  • Your full name and policy number (look on your insurance card or statement).
  • The timeframe of your policy.
  • Date, time, and location of the incident.
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of all drivers, passengers, and witnesses.
  • Driver’s license and license plate numbers for all drivers.

If you are having trouble locating your policy number on your card, here is where you may find them on the national insurance companies’ cards:

Car Insurance Claim Card 1

Car Insurance Claim Card 2

 

Depending on the accident and your insurance company, you might also have to fill out a sworn statement of the event. You should also take photos of the damages, the injuries, and the license plates.

How do I file a claim?

Once you have contact your insurance company, you will likely have to go through a few different steps to have your claim successfully completed. There are about five of them, which come from All State, though the number may vary depending on what happens in your particular claim:

  1. A professional at the car insurance company will look at your claim and discuss where to take the case from there.
  2. Often, the second step is to meet with the claims professional to talk about what happened, what your company covers, and where to go from here.
  3. The claims professional will come look at your car (usually at a collision center), examine any of the injury claims, and then make an initial payment.
  4. The company will then see that whatever plans they made in the first few steps are followed up and payments are dispense.
  5. The case is closed and you may have a hike in your coverage, or you may have a “get out of jail free accident.”

Property Damage Claims

If you are able to file a car insurance claim for vehicle repairs and the damages that you make, you should know that while many states require property damage coverage, that doesn’t cover your own car. It does, however, cover the other person’s car.

accident car insurance claim

 

There are two types of coverage that can take care of damage to your car:

  • Collision Coverage – pays for damages to your vehicle
  • Comprehensive Coverage – covers damages to your car that aren’t related to an accident

You can get other type of insurances as well, depending on your car:

  • Uninsured motorist damage – this type of insurance helps to pay for your car when the driver that you hit does not have insurance.
  • Gap insurance – covers the difference if you have a leased or loaned car and it is totaled.
  • Glass coverage – replaces the “glass” that can be ruined during an accident – windshields, mirrors, or windows.

Quick Call Do’s and Don’ts

These are the different things that you should and shouldn’t do when you are filing a car insurance claim:

 

car insurance claim pamphlet

DO read your car insurance policy when you first sign up for it.

DO NOT wait for an accident to know what your policy covers.

 

DO contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

DO NOT wait a few weeks or “feel out” how much it will cost you.

 

DO be honest with your insurance company about the state of the accident.

DO NOT try to hide any details, as that could forfeit your rights to a claim.

 

DO gather information about your accident. Including photos, contact information, and the insurance information of the other person.

DO NOT volunteer information to police officers. Answer the questions, but STICK TO THE FACTS.

 

DO keep records of every communication you have with anyone involved in the claim and the accident.

DO NOT sign waivers or releases without talking to your insurance company.

 

DO save receipts and bills for what you have paid for your claim. This includes repair work, medical treatments, and other losses.

DO NOT admit liability, even if you were at fault.

 

Contact Us

No matter what, if you are in an accident, Collision Center of Andover will be on your side and try to help get you back into your car as soon as possible. Whether the accident just resulted in a few dents or whether you will need major repairs, we can help you out.

 

With many years of experience, we will be able to work with you and your insurance company to get the best possible results. Simply contact us today or give us a call at 316-733-9310 to get started!

Vehicle collision. Visit Collision Center of Andover for body shop repair

The Do’s and Don’ts Following a Vehicle Accident

Auto accidents can be scary – even the smallest fender bender can be stressful. In addition to the inconvenience of a car accident, you will probably have to deal with auto body repair, liability issues, perhaps even a traffic citation. Maybe your vehicle is not drivable or perhaps you’re stranded by the side of the road. And worst case scenario, perhaps you or someone you love has been injured and needs medical assistance. You need to know how to be prepared to calmly and properly handle the situation.

After a Car Accident Checklist

Do:

  • Remain calm and polite
  • Stay at the scene
  • Check for injuries and call an ambulance if needed
  • Move your vehicle out of traffic, if possible
  • Put on your vehicle’s hazard lights and use cones or flares if you have them
  • Find a safe place off the road to exchange insurance and contact information
  • Call police, even if minor accident
  • Notify your insurance agent immediately
  • Register your insurance claim quickly as some insurance companies have time limits on when a claim can be filed
  • Call a tow truck service if your vehicle cannot be driven

Don’t:

  • Leave the scene
  • Admit it’s your fault
  • Discuss your coverage limits
  • Sign any document unless it’s for the police or your insurance agent

Information to gather immediately following a car accident:

  • Collect names, phone numbers, addresses of all occupants and any witnesses
  • Make note of number of occupants in the other car(s)
  • Write down location of accident, such as intersection/address/exit number
  • Write down insurance company name, policy number and contact number for other drivers involved
  • If emergency services were required, write down the police, ambulance and/or fire department name, corresponding phone numbers. Take note of the officer’s name and badge number

Document the car accident scene with photographs of the following:

  • Damage to the vehicles and/or property
  • Placement of vehicles/road conditions/skid marks/roadway debris
  • Location identifiers such as intersection/address/exit number
  • Identification cards, insurance cards, license plates

If you need any work done after a car accident, or existing damage repaired, contact the Collision Center of Andover, a trusted name in auto body repair all around the Wichita area, at (316) 733-9310, and we will get you back on the road.

 

photo credit: Donald Lee Pardue via photopin cc

Vehicle Fires. Ask Collision Center of Andover for collision repair services.

Top 5 Common Causes of Vehicle Fires

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), vehicle fires account for about 20 percent of all reported fires. In fact, a vehicle fire is said to happen every 96 seconds in the United States. These fires can cause significant property damage so you’ll have to have your vehicle checked by a body shop. Serious or fatal injuries can also arise from fires so it’s essential you are aware of the top common causes of vehicle fires. The more you understand how these fires form, the more likely you will be able to prevent them and stay safe.
  1. Design Flaw
    There has been a lot of coverage in the news regarding vehicle design flaws as many of them can lead to unexpected fire. When the auto manufacturers become aware of such design flaws, they typically issue a recall so all owners can be notified of the possible danger and get the vehicle fixed (for free). If you receive a notice or hear about a possible recall, it’s important you act immediately and contact your local dealer for assistance.
  2. Electrical System Failures
    Your electrical system is one of the most common causes of vehicle fires. A standard car battery’s charging cycles can cause hydrogen gas to build up on the engine bay and the electrical current of the battery can produce sparks along with faulty or loose wiring. This can quickly ignite any dripped fluid or leaked vapors. And since your vehicle’s electrical wiring runs throughout the entire body, it creates a substantial danger.
  3. Overheating Engine
    While your vehicle’s engine isn’t likely to overheat enough to catch fire on its own, it can be hot enough to make the vehicle’s oil and coolant rise to dangerous temperatures.  When this happens, these internal fluids spread throughout the engine bay and onto the exhaust system. This is where they can dangerously ignite and spread.
  4. Spilled Fluids
    The typical vehicle has numerous flammable fluids under the hood from gasoline or diesel fuel, transmission fluid, engine oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid and engine coolant. If anything happens to any of their lines, hoses or reservoirs, any of them could catch fire when the car is on and they are circulating. When you combine an accident or a failed part with one of these instances, your chance for fire increases.
  5. Accident
    While most vehicles have crumple zones which help the sheet metal absorb the impact of a crash, an intense blow can still spark a fire. Leaking fluids combined with heat create ideal conditions for a fire. If you are in an accident, you may not realize what is leaking under the hood, so it’s a good idea to always move away from an accident quickly.

Remember, it’s important you keep up on your vehicle’s regular maintenance, because if you don’t, you run the risk of not being aware of certain issues harboring under the hood. If you don’t fix faulty wiring, broken parts or leaky seals, for example, your vehicle is more susceptible to an incident that can spark a fire.

If you need any work done, or existing damage repaired, contact the Collision Center of Andover, your full service auto body shop, at (316) 733-9310, and we will get you back on the road.

 

photo credit: FontFont via photopin cc

Body shop car tuning

10 Tips for Summer Travel

Summer – it’s that time of year we pack up our kids and our cars and hit the open road. Road trips can be exciting as we map out our plans to visit relatives, National Parks or maybe a theme park. Or perhaps a quiet vacation at an exclusive resort is more your style for summer travel.

Regardless of where you are going on vacation, it’s important you head out prepared, especially if you don’t wish for your car to break down. Imagine the hassle of taking your car to an andover collision center or auto repair shop and missing vacation days. In addition to packing all the right clothes and enough drinks and snacks for the long haul, there are several provisions you cannot forget when planning your big summer travel adventure. It’s important to check your car out thoroughly before heading out on your summer journey to ensure you trip isn’t interrupted by a breakdown and a call for the tow truck.

Top 10 items to check

  1. Have your car tuned up and make any repairs you have been putting off.
  2. Ensure all fluids have been checked and either replaced or topped off as needed.
  3. If your battery is three or more years old, consider replacing it as extreme heat can deplete an old battery and leave you stranded.
  4. Make sure your tires are in great shape and properly aligned. It’s a good idea to bring along a tire repair kit or a small portable tank, especially if you will be travelling far and/or in remote areas.
  5. Bring a gallon of water for emergencies – it could be handy if you are stuck on the side of the road or your radiator is in trouble.
  6. Check to make sure you have a tool box with tire tools, a spare tire and a jack.
  7. Ensure your glove box contains the vehicle owner’s manual, as well as necessary papers, such as auto insurance information and a list of andover collision center roadside assistance (if you live in Andover or somewhere near that area) and emergency phone numbers. A small flashlight may also be handy.
  8. Make certain you have the right corresponding mobile device chargers.
  9. Be sure to tell a friend or neighbor where you are going, and perhaps your planned route in case it is remote.
  10. If you are travelling far and/or for a long period of time, it’s a good idea to bring medical records and your medical insurance card.

Have a great summer trip! Don’t forget to ask a friend or neighbor to check on your house regularly and pick up any mail or newspapers, so it’s not obvious you are away.

Need to get back on the road?

Contact the Collision Center of Andover at (316) 733-9310.

photo credit: 300td.org via photopin cc

Avoid collision repair cost through road rage management

How to Avoid Road Rage

Controlling Road Rage

You’re driving along on the highway with your family in tow and suddenly a truck cuts you off while you’re going 70 mph. You had to stomp on the brake and swerve wildly to avoid a nasty collision. At first, you’re relieved as you are your family are safe. But what about that guy in the truck who was talking on his cell phone? You can’t help but be enraged his irresponsible behavior put you and your family at risk.

How you handle the situation from that point forward is vital. You have a couple of choices: hunt down this reckless driver and perhaps cut him off in retaliation and endanger everyone’s lives or you can thank your lucky stars and continue to drive safely to your destination.

Unfortunately, not everyone on the road chooses the latter and attempts dangerous retaliation. This type of irrational vengeance is known as road rage. This behavior includes:

  • Chasing drivers
  • Suddenly braking hard
  • Tailgating
  • Making obscene hand and verbal gestures
  • Cutting off other driver
  • Getting out of the vehicle to make threats
  • Honking without reason

It is estimated more than 13,000 cases of road rage are reported each year, which don’t take into account those incidents never reported. According to a study, half of motorists will respond to aggressive driving with similar behavior. Statistically, men are said to be more likely to engage in this aggressive behavior than women and a person using a cell phone is more likely to respond to a situation with rage. People under 24 years old are also twice as likely to engage in road rage as other age groups.

How should I react?

First and foremost, you should try to back off before a bad situation escalates into a potentially violent one. Take a deep breath and remain calm. While you may not have been in the wrong, you don’t want to risk further damage to yourself or other people on the road because you reacted to their rage. You may not be able to control the other driver’s actions, but you can control your own.

What to do if the aggressive driver doesn’t relent?

If the aggressive driver will not leave you alone or you feel your life is being threatened, call the police for help. Do not get out of your car as this action can also be construed as aggressive behavior.

If you need any car repair done, or you’d like to consult about vehicle damage, contact the Collision Center of Andover at (316) 733-9310, and we will get you back on the road.