When you are involved in an accident, the first step to making a claim for damage to the vehicle is to notify your car insurance company. Many carriers have an 800 number that you can call on a 24-hour basis to make an initial report. After the insurance company receives the information, it will assign an adjuster to your claim.
The adjuster will contact you to find out what happened and may talk to the other driver involved as well. He or she will review police reports and take a look at your vehicle. The adjuster may also ask to see the other driver’s car.
Once the adjuster has gathered all of the information, you will be provided with an estimate for the cost of repairing the vehicle. As a car insurance consumer, you will want to make sure that the car has been inspected thoroughly and that any hidden damage issues have been addressed before you agree to a settlement. Once you have signed off on the repairs for the vehicle, you don’t have the right to go back and reopen negotiations.
Keep in mind that you can always choose to take your car to your own mechanic or have an independent person inspect it and work up a quote for the repair costs. This may cause delays in processing the claim, though.