Do you know how to file an insurance claim in Florida after an accident? While no one wants to get into a car accident due to the potential for getting seriously injured, the damage to the vehicle and the lost time, accidents do happen. Since it’s a good idea to file a claim as soon as possible after an accident, you’ll want to have an idea of the steps to take prior. To help you, you could even write down the steps and process and store it in a note on your phone so that you can review it if you happen to get into a car accent. Now, let’s take a look at the steps to file a car insurance claim in Florida.
Check for Injuries
The first thing you should do directly after your car accident is to check for serious injuries. Is anyone in your car hurt? Are you in pain anywhere? If anyone is hurt, you’ll want to call for an ambulance in addition to calling 911 to report the accident and get a police officer on the scene.
Gather Information and File a Police Report
Most accidents are fender-benders, meaning no one is seriously injured, and the car is usually still drivable after the accident. This means that once you’ve checked for any injuries and called emergency services, you should start to collect information. This means writing down the exact location of the accident, taking pictures of the accident scene and both vehicles and getting the insurance information and contact information of the other driver.
Once you’ve gotten as much information as you can from the other driver and taken pictures, you’ll need to wait for a police officer to arrive. This is because Section 316.065 of the Florida Statutes states that if you’re involved in an accident with injuries or with property damage of $500 or greater, you must contact the police, and the officer that arrives must create a police report. Stay long enough to answer the police officer’s questions so that he or she can create an accurate police report. Once the officer is finished, you can ask when the report will be ready. Most of the time, you can pick it up at the police station the next day.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Once you are home and safe, contact your insurance carrier to start the process of filing a claim. Your insurance carrier may ask for the information you collected at the scene, including the pictures on your phone. In most instances, your insurance carrier will simply ask which police department has the police report, and they will request it themselves so that they can add it to the claim paperwork.
Cooperate with the Insurance Company
Your insurance company is required to investigate every claim. This means that you won’t receive an approval or denial right away. Instead, your insurance company will look over the details of the case, and they may send an adjuster out to look at your car while they decide who’s at fault and how much the claim is worth. During this process, your insurance company may ask you additional questions or request more documentation. It’s in your best interest to cooperate with your insurance company and to promptly supply them with any additional information so that your claim can be processed in a timely manner.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you didn’t go to the hospital directly after your accident, you should seek medical care from your primary doctor or urgent care. Getting examined after a car accident, even if you don’t believe you were hurt, can uncover hidden injuries that may need to be treated.
Document All Expenses
While you’re waiting for the outcome of your claim, remember to document all of your expenses and to save all the receipts related to the accident. This includes any medical care or medical supplies you’ve purchased and lost wages. Additionally, if you paid for any car repairs prior to the outcome of your claim, document those as well. This helps you keep track of all your accident-related expenses.
Wait for a Claims Approval or Denial
According to Florida Statute 627.70131, your insurance company has 60 days from the date the claim was filed or reopened to either approve or deny the claim. If your claim is approved, the insurance company will send you the money from the claim, and you can use it to pay your accident-related expenses. If your claim is denied, you’ll receive a letter explaining the denial and what you need to do to file an appeal.
Contact Fearnow Insurance for Affordable Car Insurance
If you don’t have car insurance or don’t have affordable car insurance in Florida, you should contact Fearnow. We have access to affordable policies from many different insurance companies. This means that our agents can locate the right policy for you at the right price. In addition to car insurance, we also have motorcycle, boat and RV policies.
To learn more about our car insurance policies and to get a quote, call us today at 813-689-8878.