Got in a car accident? Now what?
Getting into a car accident can be stressful and a headache, whether you’re at fault or not. As a young adult, it’s important to know what to do after the accident, which is filing a claim with your insurance company.
Below are some quick pointers on filing a claim, but to get an in-depth look at the process, start at GEICO’s about the claims process page.
What is a claim?
A claim is any request or demand for payment under the terms of the insurance policy.
Do I have to file a claim if it’s not my fault?
You may not want to file a claim because you’re afraid that your premium will go up or your insurance will be canceled. If you don‘t report your accident to your insurer, you're taking a huge risk.
Let’s say you feel you’re not at fault and the other driver decides to sue you. If you failed to report your accident, you could make it harder for your insurance company to gather evidence to represent you and may even make it harder for your insurance company to honor your policy.
How do I file a claim?
Once you’ve contacted your insurance company and reported the accident, there will be a series of steps in order to complete the claim process. It’s important to provide all documents that support your claim. This includes a police report, vehicle information of the other driver or drivers, and information about any passengers or witnesses.
When speaking with an insurance agent, ask the following questions:
- When can I expect the insurance company to contact me?
- Does my policy have time limits for filing claims and submitting bills, resolving claims disputes, or submitting additional information?
- Do I need to get repair estimates for the damage to my car?
- Will my policy pay for a rental car while my car is being repaired? If so, how much? And do I get rental car insurance through GEICO?
How do I get my car repaired?
Once you’ve provided your insurer with all the details about your accident, they will most likely send an adjuster to do an estimate of the damage. You will then have the opportunity to go to your body shop of choice, provide them with the estimate from your insurance company and get your car repaired. Keep in mind that you'll still need to pay your deductible.
Don’t know where to get your car fixed? If you're a GEICO policyholder you can take advantage of the Auto Repair Xpress (ARX) program. At an ARX shop, a GEICO adjuster, Enterprise Rent-A-Car agent and body shop technician work together under the same roof to provide you excellent service in one place. And it’s yours free as a GEICO policyholder.
The above is meant as general information and as general policy descriptions to help you understand the different types of coverages. These descriptions do not refer to any specific contract of insurance and they do not modify any definitions expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. We encourage you to speak to your insurance representative and to read your policy contract to fully understand your coverages.