For many first-time drivers, filing a car insurance claim after an accident can be intimidating. Insurance adjusters require a lot of information that teen drivers may not know. People can make many mistakes during filing, which can compromise the claim entirely.
Understanding these filing mistakes is the best way to avoid them. If you are a parent with teenage children, teaching them about insurance can save money, time and your policy.
Common insurance filing mistakes
A filing mistake could prevent a victim in a crash from securing damages, while fraudulent claims could result in criminal charges. People make the following insurance mistakes every day:
- Filing too early: Many people think they should file their insurance claim as quickly as possible. You should file a claim soon, but not before medical and automotive examinations. Though you may feel fine, many car accident injuries do not manifest right away — you may not be able to reopen a closed claim.
- Unnecessary claims: On the other hand, filing claims for truly minor accidents is also a mistake. Often, minor claims do not meet the deductible threshold, leaving you to foot the bill entirely. Additionally, your premiums may increase after reporting an accident. Unnecessary claims can become quite costly.
- Fraudulent claims: Inexperienced drivers may hope to take advantage of the insurance system and lie about the circumstances to secure coverage. Claims adjusters will likely discover the truth of the accident. A fraudulent claim could result in your policy’s cancellation or even criminal charges.
- Filing without sufficient evidence: Immediately after the accident, make sure to take lots of pictures of the scene. Adjusters can use evidence of the weather conditions, locations of traffic signals, skid marks, etc. to build the claim and secure the coverage you deserve. Do not forget to list aftermarket additions made to the car.
- Too much information: Insurance adjusters will call you after the accident to ask questions. Do not tell them any information about your health, apologize for the accident or claim fault. Adjusters may use what you say to deny medical coverage or void your claim. Refer them to your doctor.
An attorney can help build an insurance claim
Filing a car accident claim can be messy and stressful. Many people find more success in working with a local attorney familiar with Washington motor vehicle laws. A lawyer can work with adjusters, double-check all claim information and help design a settlement.