So, you’re looking at your auto insurance policy, and you realize that you wouldn’t know what to do first if you get into an accident. With thousands of drivers on Colorado roads alone, chances are good that you’ll be in some kind of collision at some point during your driving career. So what do you do if that happens?
Filing an insurance claim is generally a fairly simple process. Most claims don’t involve personal injury; the majority of insurance payouts go toward physical damage on your car, not health complications.
If you are injured in a wreck, you’ll need more proof of injury and probably more persistence than you would for a simple vehicle-damage claim. But in Colorado, the process is more or less the same.
Right after you’re involved in an accident, file a police report and call your insurance agent. Keep your opinions and thoughts out of the conversation you have with your agent—just tell them the facts.
If you have a camera with you (tip: keep a disposable camera in you glove compartment for moments like these), snap pictures of the damage to both vehicles. These photos could be invaluable later during the claims process.
Before you leave the scene, make sure you have the other person’s license plate number, full name, and insurance information. Write it down in a secure place and hang on to that information. Also get phone numbers and contact information of witnesses and anyone involved.
An insurance adjuster will come out to assess the damage to your vehicle and may issue you a check right on the spot. Sometimes more information and/or a professional estimate is needed.
Find out from your local insurance agent if your insurance policy works with participating body shops, because you might get a better deal and a free estimate at the shops your insurance agency can recommend.