What Happens After a Car Accident and How Appraisers Work with You

After a car accident, one of the first things you should do is call your auto insurance provider. Your agent is your go-to solution. They will work with you, the police, and the appraiser to ensure repairs happen quickly. Consider for yourself some of the benefits of their service.

It is important for you to follow the guidance your agent provides. There may be specific shops to visit for repairs trusted by the insurer. The process does not have to take long. However, it has to be complete.

What You Should Do Right After Your Accident

As soon as an accident occurs, stay where you are and call an emergency line, i.e. 911. This should include medical care if you need it.

You also should document what happened with the police department. Get a police report. Gather the insurance and contact information from the other driver. Then, call your car insurance agent. He or she will help you to determine what to do next. This may include towing your car if you cannot drive it. The goal is to ensure your vehicle gets into the shop as soon as possible to determine necessary repairs.

The Appraisal of What Happened With the Car Accident

Your appraisal is documentation of what happened and what damage occurred. The insurer will often use a professional to perform this inspection. In some cases, the appraisal company will come to you. Otherwise, some insurance companies now allow individuals to take photos to send in.

Most significant damage requires careful inspection. The appraiser will likely have you bring the vehicle to their location. They will then examine it extensively. They will only look for damage related to the car accident. If your car needs an oil change, for example, this is not a part of your claim.

The appraiser is working with the car insurance company. He or she does not work for you. In short, their job is to determine what type of damage is present. Then, the appraiser will determine how much it will cost to make the vehicle safe again. The value goes to the auto insurance company at this time. The insurer will then determine if it will pay for the repairs. If it decides to total the car, the insurer will instead pay you what the vehicle is worth prior to the accident.

Working with your car insurance provider is important. You want to be sure this company is able to help you get a fair estimate for the amount of work necessary to get your car back on the road.

FAQ’s About What Happens After a Car Accident and How Appraisers Work With You

Do I need to report the accident to my insurance company?

Yes, you should report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Failure to do so may result in a denial of coverage.

How does the appraisal process work after a car accident?

An appraiser will inspect your vehicle and assess the damage. They will then provide an estimate of the cost to repair or replace your vehicle.

What if I disagree with the appraiser’s estimate?

You have the right to obtain a second opinion from another appraiser. However, keep in mind that your insurance company may only cover the cost of one appraisal.

Will my insurance company pay for a rental car while my vehicle is being repaired?

This depends on your policy. Some insurance policies include rental car coverage, while others do not. Check with your insurance company to see if you have rental car coverage.

What if the other driver is at fault but doesn’t have insurance?

If the other driver is at fault and doesn’t have insurance, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company under your uninsured motorist coverage.

Can I negotiate with the insurance company for a higher settlement?

Yes, you can negotiate with the insurance company for a higher settlement. However, keep in mind that the insurance company is not obligated to offer you more than the appraiser’s estimate.

How long does it typically take to resolve a car accident claim?

The length of time it takes to resolve a car accident claim can vary depending on the complexity of the case. Some claims may be resolved within a few weeks, while others may take months.

Will my insurance rates go up if I file a claim?

Filing a claim may cause your insurance rates to go up. However, this will depend on the specifics of your policy and the circumstances of the accident.

What if I don’t agree with the insurance company’s decision?

If you don’t agree with the insurance company’s decision, you may be able to file an appeal or dispute the decision through your state’s insurance department. It’s important to review your policy and understand your rights as a policyholder.

What happens if you don’t report a car accident to your insurance company?

It’s important to report any car accident to your insurance company as soon as possible, even if you don’t plan to file a claim. Failing to report an accident can have serious consequences, including:

  • Voiding your insurance policy: If you don’t report an accident, your insurance company may consider this a breach of your policy and could void your coverage. This means that you may be responsible for paying for any damages or injuries out of pocket.
  • Legal penalties: In some states, failing to report an accident can result in legal penalties, such as fines or even jail time.
  • Difficulty getting coverage in the future: If you fail to report an accident, it may be more difficult to obtain car insurance coverage in the future. Insurance companies may view you as a higher risk and charge you higher premiums or deny coverage altogether.

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