Car Accident Claims - How You Can Get Money From Insurance

Car insurance is mandatory in most states in the United States, but this isn't the only reason it's important you purchase it. A single accident could result in thousands of dollars in damage, not to mention medical bills and other fines and having adequate car insurance coverage can protect you from having to pay these costs yourself. However, many people find themselves in a predicament where they get into an accident, make a claim, and despite having what they think is adequate insurance coverage, have to pay for the damages themselves. You can take measures to ensure that your car insurance claims are approved. Firstly, you need to understand exactly what your policy includes or bars, right down to the fine print.

1. Liability:
The basic insurance coverage is liability, which covers third party damages; i.e. if you get into an accident where the other party is at fault, you can receive compensation from his/her insurance company under liability. However, to ensure you receive this coverage, you must pay attention to the following details:

a) Before getting behind the wheel ensure that you are listed and permitted to drive the car by law, and will be covered by your insurance policy even if this is not your own car.
b) Get the other party's complete insurance information immediately after the accident.
c) Collect evidence in the form of photographs and witnesses at the accident site without a moment of delay so that there is no dispute that the other party caused the accident.

While liability may be the minimum required by some states, it is advisable to go the extra mile and get collision, comprehensive, Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage and Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage in addition, because liability alone will not pay for damages to your own car or self. Also, if the other party is at fault, but does not have insurance, then you will have to take care of the damages on your own unless you have adequate coverage. This is why some states mandate Personal Injury Protection and/or UIM coverage. Underinsured and Uninsured motorists coverage takes care of damages to your automobile that were caused by another un/underinsured party. PIP covers medical injuries, whether or not you are responsible for an accident. For example, minimum requirements for Pennsylvania car insurance include $5000 in PIP coverage.

2. Comprehensive:
Comprehensive insurance comes into play when your car suffers damages due to something other than another car or stationary object, i.e., that which is not included by collision. However, look closely at your insurance policy, because the fine print may have clauses stating that you will not be covered for damages caused by animals, flood or other acts of God. If your car is stolen, you can claim insurance under comprehensive coverage. But again, your company may deny your claim if you didn't report the theft to the police immediately or left the keys in the car briefly. So look out for such clauses on your comprehensive policy before signing the papers.

3. Collision:
Those whose car insurance coverage includes collision can make car accident claims even if they themselves are at fault. Collision also covers damages caused if you drive into an inanimate object such as a pole. However your claim may be denied if an unauthorized person was driving your car at the time of the accident, if there were more people in the car than there were seatbelts, etc. The way to avoid these eventualities is to understand the limitations of your car insurance, and play by the rules.

There are also several other things to keep in mind to ensure that your insurance company approves your car accident claims:

1. Do not withhold information; in the event of an accident, your insurance company may reject your claim if they discover that you lied to them or withheld pertinent information from them at any point of time while you were insured with them. In such a case, you would have paid insurance premiums for nothing.

2. Keep records of claims, receipts, and all paperwork pertaining to your car insurance.

3. Check with your insurers before making modifications to your car and inform them if you decide to make any; often insurance companies charge extra or refuse to insure certain modifications.

4. Find a reliable, reputed auto insurance company rather than going for the cheapest company in the market. You should feel secure in the knowledge that your insurer has the means and integrity to pay out when you file car accident claims.

5. Do not skimp on your car insurance coverage; you will only be able to file a car accident claim if your policy includes and supports the damages incurred.

If you feel that your claim has been wrongfully denied, you have the option of filing a complaint with your State Insurance Commissioner. Make sure you enclose a written copy of the insurance company's denial in your letter to the State Insurance Commissioner and remember that your insurance company is required to provide you with said written proof.

If you neglect to read your policy properly, are dishonest with your insurance provider, or scrimp on your coverage, you suffer the risk of having to take care of the damages on your own, and in the bargain, having paid regular insurance premiums for nothing. But when you buy car insurance, more than anything else, you're paying for peace of mind and the knowledge that you will not lose everything you're worth in the eventuality of an accident.

Bethany Collins is a mother of two who works from home and lives with her husband. She is voracious reader and always looks out for happening topics related to personal finance. She specializes on subjects related to car insurance and uses her spare time to write on topics related to car insurance coverage and classic car insurance.