The Quick Do-It-Yourself Overview
1. Call the other person’s insurance and get a claim number. This triggers the assignment of an adjuster to your claim.
2. Be prepared to hold for a long time.
3. You need the police report so you can have the other person’s information and show the adjuster the other person is at fault. Providing the police report to the adjuster will speed up the claim.
4. Take photos of your car. The adjuster may ask for them.
5. Get all personal belongings out of your car, including toll tags.
6. Be prepared to give a recorded statement. Be truthful and polite, but also be aware the adjuster is looking for reasons to deny the claim. Become informed about recorded statements before giving one.
7. Be prepared to release the car to the insurance company. Releasing the car means allowing the insurance company to move it to a no-fee facility. This is different from signing a release (a written contract) resolving the property damage claim.
8. Look at Kelly Blue Book and NADA online to get an idea of the value of your vehicle.
9. Get your title and contact any lien holder who holds a note on your car. Get the loan balance.
10. Be persistent. You may need to call often.
11. You will transfer title to the insurance company if the car is a total loss. Be prepared to sign documents such as a limited power of attorney and odometer statement.
12. Finally – be willing to use your own insurance to resolve your claim.