Car Insurance

The world of modern car insurance claims can be confusing from time to time. Not all providers offer the same levels of coverage and unfortunately, you could become confused if you are not familiar with some of the most basic principles. If you suddenly are involved in an accident, what steps need to be taken? How are you to go about filing for compensation and how large will this payout be? These are some of the most common (and important) issues to address in greater detail. Let us answer each one to fully understand the logistics behind any such claim.

Immediately After an Accident

It is entirely understandable that things can be a bit confusing immediately following any type of accident. However, this is arguably the most critical time period. Assuming that you are involved in an accident, the first step is to contact your claims representative (following dealing with the police and any medical emergencies, naturally). This representative will normally show up to the scene of the accident itself. He or she will then take important physical notes such as:

  • Who appears to be at fault?
  • Was anyone speeding or violating the law?
  • What types of injuries were sustained?
  • Are there any witnesses to provide statements?

These and many other variables will be taken into consideration during the initial filing process. It is highly likely that you will be in regular contact with your representative during the days and weeks to follow.

How Do Claims and Compensation Operate?

A claim is generally filed when one is considered to be the victim of an accident. Beneficiary and claimant are two terms which are frequently used. It is also very common for both insurers (along with the parties involved) to put forth several different compensation proposals. Eventually, a proposal is either agreed upon or the claim will go to court. In the majority of cases, this is not desired on either end; the legal fees and court costs can be very substantial. So, out-of-court settlements are quite common.

It should also be mentioned here that there can be many times when this process takes weeks, months or even years. This will depend upon the claims desired as well as the extent of damages/injuries suffered by those involved. For example, a simple case of whiplash could very well be settled out of court in only a few weeks. Those who may have suffered permanent injuries or who have missed a great deal of work could require a much larger compensation package. Hence, the process will take a great deal of time before an amenable agreement is eventually reached.

How large of a compensation package is realistic?

While this is a very common question, there is no easy answer. The size of the compensation package will directly correlate to the types of damages and injuries sustained. As mentioned earlier, this will also revolve around the type of policy that you possess and any commissions or fees that are taken out by lawyers and other involved officials.

The ultimate size of compensation will also revolve around the ability to prove that true mental and physical suffering has occurred. Other variables that will inevitably be taken into account include:

  • Psychological damages
  • Permanent disabilities
  • Death or severe injuries
  • The time taken off of work (or instances when a victim is forced to take a complete disability package)

More profound accidents are therefore much more likely to reward significantly higher payouts. Still, it is critical to note that this might not necessarily be the case if you have been involved with an accident with an uninsured driver. As he or she does not have the ability to pay out massive amounts in financial compensation, you could very well be forced to take only what they can afford to give. This is obviously quite frustrating if you have suffered grievous bodily harm or if your car has been completely destroyed.

This is only a general overview of how car insurance companies function as well as some of the main points to take into account when filing any claim. It is always best to speak with your insurer directly if you have any further questions.

Top Insurers

It is no secret that finding the best insurance package is the most effective way to save you money while providing you and your passengers with the protection that is required. Thanks to the sheer variety of firms currently on the market, the choice of plans is incredible. However, this can sometimes prove to be a bit confusing. To take the guesswork out of the equation, let us look at the top most respected insurers, what makes them special and any potential discounts. Currently, the top providers are:

  • State Farm
  • Geico
  • Progressive

One of the most attractive qualities in regards to State Farm is the fact that it has existed for nearly 100 years; making it one of the oldest firms in the United States. As the company also provides comprehensive home and life insurance policies, plans can be combined and discounts are always a possibility. The levels of flexibility are impressive and State Farm is one of the top fifty Fortune 500 companies in America

GEICO is ideal for those who are looking for no-hassle customer service and highly competitive premiums. GEICO is known as providing clients with highly discounted rates and thanks to their generous no-claims rebates, these premiums could drop even further as time goes on. Thanks to an electronic subscription system, these plans are available in every state.

Progressive has been in existence since 1937 and this company is primarily known for its ability to compare, contrast and beat existing plans. Their electronic platform makes it easy to pay bills, manage an existing account and upgrade a policy to include more comprehensive coverage. As Progressive only offers auto insurance, their representatives are highly specialized.

Please note that other firms such as Allstate, USAA, Esurance and Nationwide have all likewise achieved high marks. These are also ideal for both novice and experienced drivers. The main point to take into account that premiums will depend upon several variables. These will include:

  • The age of the driver
  • The make, model and year of the vehicle
  • The possibility of any rebates such as those offered through defensive driving courses.
  • The driving history (accidents and/or tickets)

It is always a great idea to compare and contrast the top providers to appreciate the choices that you may have.