It is never fun for anyone going through the property damage insurance claims process. It is always embarrassing for the driver who is at fault while the property owner has to deal with the rush of trying to get the vehicle repaired. It would be better for both parties involved, the insurance company and owner, to have a good idea of the process involved when filing a property damage insurance claim. However, the procedure for filing a property damage insurance claim would depend on whoever is at fault.
We all know that owning up to your mistake isn’t an easy thing to do. If you are at fault for breaking someone’s vehicle windshield and you end up leaving a note for the vehicle owner, it could end up turning what would have been a frustrating situation into one that can now be handled. It is a wise thing to leave the vehicle owner a note if no one was around when the accident happened. Imagine how you would have felt if the damage was done to your vehicle and no one was around to be held accountable for it.
Property Damage Insurance Claims Process
However, there are steps anyone can take when you have done damage to someone else’s property and if you do not know these steps, check them out below;
- Ensure leaving the owner of the property your policy information, which involves leaving your name, insurance agency, policy number, insurance company, and contact phone number. This would come in handy when the property owner needs to reach out to you, but you should also be on the lookout for calls from unknown numbers.
- Try to collect the information of the owner of the property. If it is possible, you should end up getting their name, description of the property that has been damaged, and a phone number as well. If they were not around, make sure you carry out the first step we discussed and ask them to reach out.
- Try to make sure you take a photo of the accident because it would also be helpful when it comes to settling the dispute.
- You should make up your mind about paying a deductible. Repairing a vehicle depends on the type of coverage you have in your insurance policy, and that would be subject to your deductible. However, deductibles are not required when it comes to repairing another person’s damaged property.
- You should also expect a premium increase. If you file an at-fault insurance claim, it will likely affect you negatively unless you have accident forgiveness before the accident.
If Your Property Gets Damaged
Coming out to find out that your property has already been damaged could be very frustrating for anyone. It is very frustrating to have your vehicle in a repair shop and be without it and dealing with insurance companies. However, the faster you get on with your claims processing, the quicker you get everything resolved. Filing a property damage claim would go in one of two ways;
Knowing Who Damaged Your Property
You should make sure you get the information of the driver that caused the damage to your property. This should be his name, contact phone number, insurance company, location, date, and time of when the accident happened. Make sure you call your insurance company for help because they would always be happy to help you file a property damage insurance claim. As long as the driver at fault admits to his mistake, you would pay out of your pocket for any of the repair expenses.
Don’t Know Who Damaged Your Property.
If the driver who caused the accident fled the scene, then you are looking at paying for the repairs done to your vehicle out of your pocket. Your insurance policy should have collision coverage in it if you carried out repairs on your vehicle despite it being the cause of another driver. Depending on state laws, your deductible might also be applied. Adding uninsured motorist coverage to your insurance policy is also the right thing to do, and in most cases, it covers a hit-and-run accident.
Bottom line, the property damage insurance claims process is dependent on so many variables, and hit and run accidents are very common nowadays. Make sure you have a good idea of state laws and make sure your insurance policy carries the right coverage as well.
When it comes to the property damage insurance claims process, there is something that you need to have in mind, and that is your personal injury claim and property damage claim are two different things. This is because both claims always have different claims numbers, and in most cases, there are different adjusters assigned to each case.
The claims would be based on treatment, specific injuries, and general treatment regarding bodily injury claims. Still, it would be based on the specific market value that your car has before it was involved car crash in the case of property damage claims.
Furthermore, you are entitled to receiving the fair market value of your car that was involved in a car crash. The term fair market value refers to what a buyer is willing to pay to a seller for a car in its present condition before getting involved in a car accident. Before making this determination, several factors come into play, and these factors include;
- Model and make of the vehicle involved in the car crash
- The age of the vehicle
- If the vehicle has suffered any form of damage before
- Mileage of the vehicle
- The general condition of the vehicle before getting involved in a car accident
Property Damage Insurance Claims Process
It will help if you are aware of the difference between the fair market value and replacement cost. These two are not the same, and the amount you have on your loan is not used to determine the fair market value of your damaged property.
Unfortunately, clients have been left upside down because the money they owe is worth more than what the automobile is worth. Few information sources that can help an individual in determining the fair market value includes the following;
- NADA Used Car Guide
- Kelly Blue Book
- Computerized Market Guides
- Asking Price From Car Slots
- Classified Ads From Auto Trader Magazines And Newspaper
Maintenance records, repair receipts, and service receipts prove to be very useful when determining the value of a car. When the time comes for an individual to negotiate with an insurance company on his damaged property, these documents need to be made available. Property damages include damages that your car suffered during a car accident, damage to your car clothing, or even the clothes you wore during the accident. To get compensation for the destroyed or damaged property, you should prove that the properties actually got damaged in the car accident.
Who Pays When Fixing Damaged Properties
The at-fault driver’s insurance company is the one you would submit your property damage claims to if you want to push for compensation. Unless questions are being raised regarding liability, the insurance company is mandated to pay for the damages that your car suffered during the car crash and pay for other valuable properties that were lost. While doing this, make sure that every release you sign relates to property damage alone and does not relate to an injury claim if you have one.
This is why it is always very important that you work with an attorney to help in reviewing any document or settlement check before collecting any money. As an alternative option, you can also submit your property damage claim to your own insurance company. The only time a person can do this is when he has collision coverage in his insurance policy. Paying out claims faster than the at-fault driver’s insurance company is one major advantage that comes with submitting property damage claims to your own insurance company.
If your own insurance company ends up paying for your property damage claim, it will get reimbursed later by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, several instances are advisable to file a property damage claim with your own insurance company.
Such instances include if the at-fault driver has no insurance coverage, if the accident you were involved in was with a hit and run driver, if the at-fault insurance company does not want to accept liability and if the insurance coverage of the at-fault driver is not enough to cover up for damages that your car suffered.