How to File an Auto Insurance Claim
- Immediately after a car accident, you need to contact the police. It's always better to have a police officer write down the details of an accident in a police report than trying to provide those details later. You probably won't be thinking straight immediately following an accident and your emotions or adrenaline will make you miss things. Or if the other party is uncooperative, the police can handle this much better. Having a police report will help you in filing a claim.
- South Carolina requires an accident report to be filed when there is bodily injury or someone is killed. A crash report filing is required when a person is injured or there is more than $1,000 in property damage. South Carolina does not require you to file a report on every fender bender, but if you are able to file a report, it is best to do so.
- Gather information about your car accident immediately. Get the name, address and phone number of the other driver. You will also need their license plate number, insurance information and VIN if possible. Next write down the time of the accident, the address of the accident or approximate location, road and direction you were traveling in and the same for the other car. Take photos of the damage if possible. If a police officer is on-site, ask for his name and badge number although most police officers will make this readily available.
- Call your insurance agent as soon as it is safe to do so. Even if you are not at fault, it is best to get in touch with us as soon as possible and even if the damage appears to be not that severe. They will walk you through the next steps and tell you what information you need to provide. If you are not able to drive your vehicle from the accident, they will be able to assist you with transportation and to get your vehicle towed.
- Once your insurance company has received your claim, you will be assigned a claims specialist or an adjuster. They will walk you through the remaining steps to complete your claim and receive compensation.