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Farm Bureau Insurance®*  |  Insurance Products  |  Auto Insurance
What if I'm Involved in an Auto Accident?
Knowing what to do when you have an auto insurance claim can help you avoid some of the headaches, heartache and red tape involved in tackling the process. It can also help you get better value for your insurance dollars. If your car is involved in an accident, if it is damaged by fire, flood or vandalism, or if it is stolen, put your insurance to work for you by following these steps in filing your claim:

Phone your insurance agent or a local company representative. Do it as soon as possible even if you’re far from home and even if someone else caused the accident. Ask your agent how to proceed and what forms or documents will be needed to support your claim. Your company may require a "proof of loss" form, as well as documents relating to your claim, such as medical and auto repair bills and a copy of the police report.

Insurance consumers make their own choice when selecting an auto body repair shop to fix their car. Many states, including Colorado, have laws that prohibit steering to specific repair shops.
Make sure you hire an auto body shop that provides guarantees and specific time lines on repairs. Your insurance policy has certain limits and deductible, so find out settlement amounts before you sign off on repair costs. If you don’t know where to take your vehicle to be fixed, most insurance companies will provide you with a list of repair shops that are backed by repair and labor guarantees.

Supply the needed information to your insurer. Cooperate with your insurance company in its investigation, settlement or defense of any claim, and turn over to the company immediately copies of any legal papers you receive in connection with your loss. Your insurer will represent you if a claim is brought against you and defend you if you are sued as the result of an accident.

Keep records of your expenses. Expenses you incur as a result of an automobile accident may be reimbursed under your policy. Remember, for example, that your no-fault insurer usually will pay your medical and hospital expenses, and possibly such other costs as lost wages and at least part of your costs if you have to hire a temporary housekeeper.

Keep copies of your paper work. Store copies of all paper work in your own files. You may need to refer to it later.

Talk things over with your agent or an adjuster if you are dissatisfied with the settlement offer. Check your policy to see what settlement steps it outlines.



What NOT to do after an accident

Move any injured persons.
Apologize for the crash.
Tell any party how much insurance you carry.
Accept any money. If you do, you forfeit your right to file a claim.
Agree to forget about the accident. Later on, the other person may file a lawsuit against you.


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