How To File a Car Insurance Claim | Credit Karma

car insurance is one of those things you might not think much about, until you need to use it.

A variety of events may require you to turn to your insurance. The most common include accidents involving another party, windshield damage, damage to a parked vehicle, theft or hail damage, according to Hartford.

To get your insurance benefits, you will need to file an auto insurance claim. here’s what you need to know and the steps you’ll need to take to get back on the road as soon as possible.

Reading: How to claim auto insurance

  1. get to safety
  2. gather information
  3. contact your insurance company
  4. get back on the road
  5. 1. stay safe

    If there has been some kind of incident causing damage, the first thing you should do is take care of yourself and everyone around you. make sure the scene is safe.

    then if you’ve been in an accident, or your car has been broken into, vandalized or stolen, call the police. they can help with safety and call for emergency services if needed. In some states, you must call the police after an accident, so make sure you know the law in your area.

    Your insurance company will likely ask for the police accident report on the incident. The police report can serve as a record of what happened and helps ensure that the insurance company gets accurate information. You can contact the police to get a copy of the report, in many cases within a day or two of filing it.

    2. collect information

    When something happens to your car, it’s normal to feel surprised, but it’s essential to stay focused on gathering accurate and complete information to file your auto insurance claim.

    • take photos of any property damage. Photographs provide a record of what happened to your car and any other vehicle(s) involved. note where and when the incident occurred and get photos of the scene as well, if possible. you will need as much detail as possible for your claim. If there has been a natural disaster, remember that even after a storm, fire or earthquake, the situation can be dangerous. be careful and wait until conditions are safe to document the damage.
    • talk to the responding officials. get information from the police officer responding to the incident. A license plate number and phone number will help you if you need to follow up and get more information later in the claims process. If your car has been stolen, provide the police with a full description of your car and license plate number. Share your vehicle identification number and registration number if you have them on hand.
      • Save all receipts. If you need towing, roadside assistance, or any other service due to the incident, save all receipts. the insurance company may reimburse you, depending on your coverage.
      • do not admit (or accuse) fault. You have probably been told not to admit fault at the scene of a traffic accident. that’s good advice, and it works both ways. leave the determination of fault to the arbitrators, whether you believe you are at fault or someone else. the police and your insurance company can figure this out. Depending on the legal framework in your state, the insurance company can determine how much fault, if any, each driver may have.
      • write down the other person’s information. write down the other driver’s contact information, insurance company and policy number, car make and model, and license plate number and the state. if possible, also get the names of other passengers involved. if there were other witnesses, write down their names and contact information as well.
      • 3. contact your insurance company

        Contact your auto insurance company as soon as possible once you are safe. Call the company’s claims number, usually found on your insurance card (you should also be able to find it online). many major companies allow you to file a claim online or through a smartphone app.

        When you contact your insurer, explain what happened in as much detail as possible. this is where the information and documentation you took on the scene comes in handy.


        If you are reporting an accident, your insurance company will attempt to determine who is at fault, based on inspections of the vehicles and property involved, information provided by those involved, and any other available documentation, such as photos or police reports.

        See also: How many points do you get for driving without insurance

        If the other driver is found to be at fault, your liability coverage will likely pay for your car damage or medical bills up to the policy limit. But if you’re found to be at fault, your collision coverage can help pay for repairs to your vehicle. If you have medical payment coverage or personal injury protection, your medical bills may be covered up to your limit.

        theft, natural disasters and other problems related to a single vehicle

        If you’re not in a multi-car accident, one of two types of insurance coverage may pay for car repairs or replacement, depending on the scenario.


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