What to expect when you file an auto insurance claim

If you decide to file a claim, it’s important to understand your coverage and follow the claims process outlined in your policy.

Your rights when you file a claim

What you can expect from the insurer

  • A timely and clear explanation of their coverage decision
  • A clear explanation of how they will pay your claim
  • Timely responses to your questions
  • Timely payments

Choosing the auto repair shop - Typically, the choice is up to you.

Choosing repair parts - Talk with the insurance adjuster about what kind of parts they want to use to fix your car. The adjuster might recommend using non-OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts (also called aftermarket parts). They might also choose to select used parts from the same year as the damaged parts.

If you demand they use new, OEM parts, you may have to pay for the difference in cost.

Getting a rental car

  • If the other driver is at fault for the accident, his or her insurer may offer you some type of rental car coverage - either on a reimbursement basis or on a direct bill set up (the insurer pays it directly to the rental agency).
  • If you're at fault, check your policy or with your agent to see if you have rental-car coverage.

Your responsibilities when you file a claim

You'll need to protect your car from any further damage and from causing injury to you or others.

Keep receipts for any roadside service expenses, such as towing.

Updated 11/20/2014

See also

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