For Consumers

What to expect when you file an auto insurance claim

"You folks moved a mountain for me - instantly! The insurance claim was paid to me the moment you became involved. Thank you so much!"
~ E.K.
man holding glasses

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

Here's what you should expect from your 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 and repair parts

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

Talk with the insurance adjuster about what kind of parts they want to use to fix your car. The adjuster might recommend using Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts or non-OEM 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.

Be aware that currently there are nationwide issues occurring  due to auto parts and auto repair shop staffing shortages.

Getting a rental car

  • If the other driver is at fault for the accident, their 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.
  • The delays on vehicle repairs could cause you to exhaust the rental car limit on your policy before the repairs are completed. 
  • If you reach the policy limit, you might have out of pocket rental car expenses. Check with your insurance agent or the company about your rental car coverage.

Your responsibilities when you file a claim

  • The amount of time you have to file an auto insurance claim after damage or an accident will vary based on your policy and the insurance company. Make sure to verify this part of your policy with your agent.
  • 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.