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Get the Compensation You Deserve: Filing Car Accident Claims When You Weren't Driving

Jun 05, 2024

Auto Insurance

Get the Compensation You Deserve: Filing Car Accident Claims When You Weren't Driving

Imagine this: you park your car safely, only to return later and find it damaged from a collision. You weren't even behind the wheel! While frustrating, this scenario isn't uncommon. Accidents can happen when your car is loaned to a friend, valet parked, or even involved in a hit-and-run. But what happens next? Can you still get compensation for the damage? The answer is yes, but navigating the claims process can be confusing. Let's understand your rights and explore filing a car accident claim when you weren't driving.

Understanding Your Coverage

The first step is understanding your car insurance policy. Most policies provide coverage even when you aren't the one behind the wheel. Here are the key coverages to consider:

  • Collision Coverage: This reimburses you for repairs or the replacement value of your car if it's damaged in a collision, regardless of who was driving.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: This covers damage caused by events other than collisions, such as theft, vandalism, or weather events.

Gathering Information

Once you've confirmed your coverage, it's crucial to gather as much information as possible about the accident:

  • Police Report: If the police were called to the scene, obtain a copy of the police report. This document will detail the accident scene, witness statements (if any), and the at-fault driver's information (if identified).
  • Photos: Take detailed pictures of the damage to your car from multiple angles.
  • Witness Statements: If anyone witnessed the accident, get their contact information and statements about what they saw.
  • Details of the Driver (if applicable): If you loaned your car to someone, note down their driver's license information and insurance details.

Filing the Claim

Contact your insurance agency or company as soon as possible after the accident. Be prepared to provide them with all the information you've gathered, including the police report, photos, and witness statements. Your insurance adjuster will review the details and determine the extent of coverage under your policy.

Understanding the Process

The claims process can vary depending on the specifics of your situation. Here's a general breakdown:

  • Your Insurance Company Investigates: The adjuster will investigate the accident details and verify the information you've provided.
  • Settlement Offer: Based on their investigation, your insurance company will offer a settlement amount to cover the repairs or replace your car.
  • Negotiation: You may be able to negotiate the settlement offer if you believe it's too low. Having documented evidence of the damage and repair estimates strengthens your case.
  • Repair or Replacement: Once you accept the settlement, your insurance company will either handle repairs through their network of approved shops or provide you with a check to replace your car.

Key Considerations

Here are the key things to consider:

  • Deductible: Remember, you'll be responsible for paying your deductible before your insurance coverage kicks in.
  • Loaner Car: Depending on your policy and the severity of the damage, your insurance company might provide you with a rental car while yours is being repaired.

Tompkins Insurance Can Help You Navigate the Complexities of Claims Process

Navigating a car accident claim, especially when you weren't driving, can be stressful. At Tompkins Insurance Agencies, we're here to help you every step of the way. Don't settle for less! Contact us today to navigate the complexities of the claims process and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Call us at 1-888-261-2688 to get started. 

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