California’s highways are dangerous. You are at risk of being in an accident with a motor vehicle. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a “fender bender” accident or a serious injury accident, being prepared can save you from costly mistakes. This guide will explain what to do in the aftermath of an accident and what you should expect when you file a claims with your Accident Insurance Department company.
An accident checklist is included in this document. It can be stored in your vehicle for future reference.
Before signing any insurance policies, read through the entire application carefully. You will be able to see if you are satisfied with the policy limits, coverages, and deductibles. The declaration page should be reviewed after you receive your policy. The declaration page includes important information such as who is covered and what the coverage limits are. It also identifies which vehicles are insured. Check that all information is correct. Also, ensure that you are getting the exact coverage. You can request changes to your agent, or insurance company by writing. Make sure you keep a duplicate. Send certified mail to confirm receipt of your documents.
You should be familiar with the terms and conditions of your automobile insurance policy in order to understand it when you need it. Make sure you read the entire policy to find out what is covered and what is not.
What to do in the event of an accident
- Stop Immediately and Only Move if It’s Safe.
- For injuries, call 911.
For assistance, call the police Police authorities may be able to respond to every accident site in some areas. They will consider factors such as the nature and extent of the accident. Some police authorities may not be able to respond if an accident occurs on private property. It is important to notify police. Also, be aware that many policies require that the police are notified within a specific time frame if there is a hit and ran.
- Get information from all drivers, including names, addresses and telephone numbers.
- Get vehicle identification numbers and plates. For verification, request to see the driver’s licence and vehicle registration.
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of all passengers and witnesses should be obtained.
- Use a cellphone or a camera to take pictures of the accident scene, traffic control, and other obstacles.
If you are unable to locate the owner of a damaged vehicle or property, please leave a note containing the names and addresses for the driver and owners.
Notify your agent right away.
Within 10 days, notify the Department of Motor Vehicles if you are injured or the vehicle is damaged beyond $750.00. Failure to notify DMV can result in suspension of driver’s license.
Frequently Asked Qualities
What happens when I file my claim with my Insurance Company?
Your insurance company will contact your for more details about the loss. You may be asked to give a written or recorded account. Sometimes, it is possible to request an examination under oath. You may be asked to contact other drivers or witnesses as part of an investigation. If you have uninsured motorist claims or medical payments, you will need to provide documentation detailing your loss (injuries and medical expenses, lost wages etc. ).
What should you do if your insurance company fails to contact you?
Within a reasonable amount of time, you should be contacted by a claim representative. Under certain circumstances, however the insurance company may take up 15 days to contact your. You can reach your agent or insurer if you have not heard from anyone. You can contact the Department of Insurance to report a lack of communication or an unreasonable delay in settlement of your claim.
How does the insurance company assess vehicle damage
An experienced adjuster or appraiser inspects vehicle damage. An appraiser or adjuster then creates an estimate based upon the initial inspection. If additional damage is discovered during repair, the shop will contact their insurer to obtain approval for any additional costs. You should keep in mind that the insurer might send an adjuster to inspect the additional damage. If the damage is minor, the company may ask you to submit repair estimates. After you have reviewed the estimate and the repair facility, you must sign the authorization for the shop to fix your vehicle.
What amount will the company pay to cover a claim for physical damage that is covered under a standard automobile policy?
The company will generally pay the lower of the following:
- The repair cost for the vehicle
- The vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV).
Check your policy to see what’s covered. Be sure to pay attention to any exclusions or limitations. Except for Original Equipment, which is the equipment that was installed by the manufacturer of your automobile (OEM), there is typically no or limited coverage. For such equipment, additional coverage may be available at an extra charge.
What is the actual cash price (ACV) in your country?
Actual Cash Value – California’s actual cash value is, unless stated otherwise in the policy. The fair market price of an item is determined by the amount potential buyers and sellers will pay, and the extent to which they are knowledgeable about the asset. They must act in their best interest without undue pressure and be free from any pressure to transact.
What is an appraisal clause?
A majority of standard policies include an appraisal provision. This is useful in the case where there is disagreement about the amount that the insurance company offered for a total loss settlement. To see if your policy contains one, please read it. You can request an appraisal under this provision. Each party will choose a competent appraiser. The appraisers then choose a neutral umpire. If they are unable to reach an agreement, the disagreements are submitted to the umpire. A binding amount is one that both appraisers agree on. Each party pays its own appraiser. The umpire fee is shared.
How do you prepare the draft or check?
The insured or any lienholder (bank, finance company) can get the check. The vehicle may be repaired by the company.
Who is responsible for paying the remaining balance on a car loan?
The loan balance is the responsibility of the borrower. This applies even if the vehicle has been stolen or damaged beyond repair. Lenders will ask you to pay any difference between your claim payment and the loan balance. To protect yourself against such situations, “gap” insurance is usually available.
Can the insurance company cover a rental car for me while my car is being repaired?
If you have rental car coverage. Before renting a vehicle, be sure to read your policy. While policy limits may vary, the company covers you up to a set amount per day and for a particular number of days. The coverage ends after your vehicle is repaired and the loss is paid, or when the specified period expires.
The policy might automatically cover transportation expenses if your vehicle was stolen. Check your policy again to make sure. This coverage generally begins 48 hours following the theft and ends when your vehicle has been recovered.
What is a Collision Damage Waiver? And will the insurance company pay the charges for the rental car?
The terms of the rental agreement place the customer on the hook for any damage to the vehicle that is caused by collision. The rental company also covers collision damage to the vehicle. Rental companies will waive all or part of their obligation to repair damage to the vehicle due to collision for an additional fee. The waiver’s language and amount can vary. Your personal auto policy will cover collision damage to your rental car. The policy language will affect the coverage. Make sure you read the policy. Before renting a vehicle, speak with your agent.
What is the salvage price?
If your vehicle is declared totaled, it is the vehicle’s remaining value.
What is subrogation, you ask?
Subrogation refers to the right of an insurance company, to seek reimbursement from a third-party for damages it has paid you. Your company may ask the other side to pay the amount it paid for damages caused by an accident. You must cooperate with the company in its subrogation efforts. You must not do anything that would jeopardize the company’s right to recover. In exchange for your deductible, you can’t sign an agreement to release the other party.
Is it required by insurance companies to assist me in recovering my deductible
Yes and no. Your insurance company must inform you if they are going to pursue subrogation. Subrogation is a process in which the insurance company must include your deductible. The company must advise you if they do not pursue subrogation so you can pursue your own deductible. Most companies will reimburse your expenses if they are successful in pursuing subrogation. You will be reimbursed 100 percent of what you paid for if you recover 100% of the payment. 65 percent recovery will result in you receiving 65 percent of your deductible. If recovery is achieved, all expenses and fees (e.g. legal costs) incurred in the recovery effort by the company will be shared between you. You can also seek reimbursement from the other party if the company doesn’t include your deductible. Talk to your insurance company about the matter before you make any moves to delay its recovery.
Is the car fully covered outside of California
Most policies offer coverage in Canada, U.S. territories, and possessions. California is not the only state or territory that has passed financial responsibility laws. These laws require drivers to have certain amounts of automobile insurance to protect against any losses caused by owning or operating a motor car. Your company will be required to meet higher financial responsibility requirements than your policy limits if you’re traveling abroad. Mexico is not covered by most policies. It’s best to get Mexico coverage separately if you plan on driving your car there. Before you travel, check your out of-state coverage.
California’s financial liability law starts with Section 16020 under the California Vehicle Code. It also requires all drivers to be able pay for damages resulting from the ownership or use of a motor car.
Drivers must demonstrate financial responsibility (ability to pay damages) for at least $15,000 per person who is injured or dies in an accident. For $30,000 each for two or more people in an accident. Also, for $5,000 property damage, a driver must be able to pay the minimum of $5,000. A peace officer may ask you for proof of financial liability if you are stopped for moving violations or in an accident. The DMV will record the policy number and name of the insurance company on your vehicle registration card. The proof of insurance should be kept in the car or stored somewhere where it can be accessed when you drive. For more information, please contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
What should you do if a lawsuit is filed against you (Summons and Complaint), arising from an accident?
Notify your agent as soon as possible. Keep a duplicate for yourself, and mail or deliver original documents to the company. Talk about the accident and do not give any statements to anyone but a representative from your company. Your company will offer legal defense if the lawsuit stems from a covered injury.
Are you able to cover a new vehicle?
Most policies cover vehicles that are replaced by an existing policy. The coverage usually covers the same vehicle as your previous vehicle. Your broker-agent should be notified immediately of any replacement vehicle. Additional coverage may be required if you need it.
A majority of policies cover a vehicle you have added to your policy, and also automatically provide coverage. There are usually certain conditions that must be fulfilled.
If the insured wishes to have the vehicle covered under an existing automobile policy, most automatic coverage provisions require that they notify their insurer within 30 days. Notification periods for some policies can be shorter than 30 jours. Some insurance companies have notification periods of 14 days or less.