whenever you are involved in any type of accident involving property loss or injury, in order for an insurance claim to be possible, either through your own insurance coverage or another party’s insurance company, You should contact your own insurance company and let them know what happened. read on for more information.
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when to notify your insurer of an accident or injury
It is a good idea to contact your insurance company within 72 hours of any incident that may lead to the filing of a claim. your policy may contain details about notification deadlines (or the policy may simply state that policyholders must notify the insurance company of any injury “within a reasonable time”).
What type of incident should prompt you to notify your insurer? that depends, but there are some scenarios where you absolutely must contact your insurer (and indeed may be required to do so under the terms of your policy). for example:
- have been in a car accident in which there were injuries (whether those injuries were to you, one of your passengers, or drivers and passengers in other vehicles) and/or significant property damage. In this situation, you should contact your own auto insurance company and let them know what happened, regardless of whether you were injured yourself and whether or not you believe the accident was your fault.
- A guest or other visitor to your home sustains an injury on your property (whether it be a slip and fall, dog bite, or any other injury). here, you should immediately report the incident to your homeowner’s insurance company, whether you or anyone else ultimately decides to file a claim related to the incident.
- may I decide to make a claim under my insurance policy in connection with this incident? or
- Is it possible that someone may decide to file a claim against me related to this incident and my coverage will become effective under this policy?
- a claim filed by you, seeking coverage under your policy, or
- a claim filed by another party, saying that you were at fault for the accident, so your coverage and the insurance company’s duty of defense are triggered under the policy.
In addition to these two common scenarios, for a good rule of thumb when deciding whether to report an incident to your insurance company, ask yourself:
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” it’s a good idea to notify your insurance company of the incident and to cooperate in any resulting claim investigation. (Learn more about how an insurance company investigates an injury claim.)
what to expect when you talk to your insurance company
No matter who you talk to, whether it’s your own agent you’ve dealt with in the past or just an adjuster in the claims department, be sure to provide all the details relevant to the incident: who was involved, how it happened the incident, who witnessed the incident, who was injured, what property was damaged, etc. the insurance agent is likely to obtain this information from you in a series of questions. it is important to be as honest and complete as possible about the details. however, keep in mind that if you do get a call from a potential opposing party’s representative, it’s best to refrain from giving too much away.
Before you hang up on this initial call, be sure to note who you are speaking with and get confirmation that the information you provided will be filed with the carrier’s claims office. In the next few days, you should receive a formal letter documenting your claim. If you do not receive this letter, please contact the claims office directly.
What happens next will depend on whether a claim is filed for the incident. that means:
In any event, if a claim is filed, you will need to cooperate with the carrier’s investigation, and that may include allowing the insurance company to inspect your property or your vehicle for damage and/or letting the insurance company will review all medical records related to the nature and extent of the injuries you claim.