If you are reading this, I guess it is safe to assume that somehow or another you have been involved in an accident. You will need to get in touch with your auto insurance agent whether or not it is your fault. To give you peace of mind, you need to find out if you are covered. Auto insurance policies do not cover every eventuality; therefore, you need to get the necessary information.

As you work through the process of filing a claim, make sure you keep a record of all documents and everyone you talk to as well as their phone numbers. Start a file and it will be no hassle. Typically, in some people are more helpful than others. If you get a good person, you will want to be able to contact them again when you need more advice; conversely, you may want to avoid those who stonewall you, and if things go wrong, you know who said what. As you work through the process, there are several key questions you should ask.

Firstly, ask what documentation is required such as a copy of the police report and the claim form. There are few things more annoying than only getting some of the information, so keep asking until you are satisfied that you know how to proceed.

Then, find out if your insurance policy covers you for the hire of a rental car during the time your car is out of commission. This is an optional extra, and it adds to the cost of the policy. There is a possibility that you decided not to include this when you acquired the insurance. If you have this type of cover, find out how much money the insurance company will allocate for the rental car, and then you can budget.

Next, find out if you are expected to do the donkey work and get more than one estimate for the repair of your vehicle. Not all insurance companies require this but get the details. You need to know so that you do not make a mistake, and then find you are wearing extra costs.

The last big question is about the time you have to do your part. Find out if there are time limits on submitting the necessary paper work, and make sure you stick to them. Some companies have time limits on the submission of additional documents, so make sure you are well informed and move quickly. There may also be a time limit on disputing claims.

That brings us to another key point to do with making a claim, which is disputing a claim. Sometimes you find that you are dissatisfied with what the insurer offers you or the way your case has been handled; make your dissatisfaction known if you are certain you have a strong case. It is not a good idea to waste everyone’s time over trivial matters, but it is also not wise to give up when there is a real case to be made. You should start with your insurance agent, but be prepared to go higher.

Sometimes, it is necessary to put your complaint in writing before it is taken seriously. If it comes to this, you will be glad that you kept a paper trail of all the people you emailed or spoke to. You will need to have all the documents necessary to support your claim. As a last resort, you may need to consult an attorney, but consider the cost of doing so before you take this step. Make sure it is worth the effort and expense.

Luckily, most auto insurance claims are settled swiftly and amicably.