Claiming on Car Accident: Steps to File a Total Loss Claim
You might meet a disastrous accident, may be due to collision, animal strike or any other reasons. The accident is considered total loss auto accident if cost of the repair is more than the value of your car. Total loss accident is quite confusing and it needs to be practical even for the insurance company. Sometimes it might not be feasible to repair the vehicle even if the cost of repair is less than the actual value, then the insurance company consider it at total loss. Many users have a common question like, ‘what to do after a total loss auto accident?
There are certain factors that play a significant role in deciding about total loss accident such as individual state laws, condition of the vehicle and policy of the company. Here we will discuss on how to claiming on car insurance for accidental damage and total loss car insurance settlement.
You need to take certain steps to file a total loss claim.
1. Report the claim to the insurer at the earliest
Total loss claims might take a month or more to finalize and close the claim. You make sure that you report the claim as soon as possible as it will speedier the process. You also ensure that your policy includes total loss coverage.
2. Get your vehicle towed to the company’s preferred facility
Company’s preferred shop usually don’t charge you any storage fee; if you keep it at some other place you might end up paying charges for it. The company won’t get it repaired at the shop, but it will make the process speedier. Insurance company adjuster will estimate the loss.
3. Get the title
Generally, you will have to provide title of your vehicle to the insurance company; it is a legal proof that you are the owner of the vehicle and contains all the information of your vehicle such as make, model year and much more important information. If you have lost the title, you have to file with DMV regarding lost title. You also have to provide license plate, each key to the vehicle, lien holder’s contact information if it is applicable.
4. Check how much you owe, if you have a vehicle loan
You have to check how much you have to pay if you have a vehicle loan. Though it doesn’t affect your total loss claim; it will prepare you for what you need to pay.
5. Do some research to estimate value of your car
It is not a mandatory step but it will give you some idea on whether your insurance provider is offering actual value or not. You can refer to some websites, magazines, newspaper and see vehicle listing in your area.
6. Mail your documents at the earliest
Total loss claim requires certain documentation. You need to sign an agreement on total payment amount of totaled vehicle. If you have unpaid loan on the vehicle, you need to sign a power of attorney that will transfer ownership of the vehicle to the insurance company once you pay off the loan.
It is recommended that make proper documentation and be in communication with the insurer until the claim is processed.
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