We can never know when an accident is going to occur. That’s the whole point of having insurance, to protect us from the unexpected. We understand how shocking and traumatic accidents can be. When you’re involved in an auto collision, oftentimes, you’re not able to immediately process what’s just happened. And, filing a claim with your insurance company probably isn’t the first thing on your mind. Once the sheer shock of the collision has worn off, it’s important to take the next step. You’re probably going to want to file a claim. We’ll take you through the process to make sure it’s easy, understandable, and stress-free.
When should I file an insurance claim?
If and when you are ever involved in an auto collision, the first step you are going to want to take is to assess the amount of damage to the vehicles involved. Minor dings and scratches may present damage in which the cost to make repairs does not exceed your auto insurance deductible (this is the amount of money you have agreed to pay out of pocket before your insurance company covers the remaining costs up to your policy’s limit). If this is the case, filing a claim may not be your best option since filing too many claims may lead to an increase in the cost of your insurance or an outright cancellation. If you do choose to move forward with filing a claim, your insurance company will send out an insurance adjuster to assess the damage and will make a determination as to how much repairs will likely cost. If the claim is approved, you will receive a check in the mail to cover the cost of repairs. Again, you must pay your deductible beforehand.
There are certain scenarios in which you should strongly consider filing a claim:
When someone is injured.
If anyone involved in the auto collision is injured as a result of the collision, you should file a claim with your insurance company.
When it’s not 100% clear who the at-fault party is.
Sometimes, it’s not perfectly clear who is responsible for damages related to an auto accident. If this is ever the case, exchange insurance information with the other driver and let the insurance companies figure out what exactly happened. A police report may help aid you in this case as well.
When your vehicle is deemed a “total loss” or you simply cannot afford to cover the cost of damages.
In the event of a “total loss” accident, it is likely that you are looking at considerable costs pertaining to damages. In this case, filing a claim is the best way to go.
If you are ever uncertain about whether or not to file a claim, it’s a good idea to talk to your licensed insurance professional who can guide you through the claims process and answer any questions you may have.
When you’re at the scene of an accident, if it’s necessary, call the police. A police report may assist in determining what exactly happened at the scene and only makes the process run more smoothly for yourself and your insurance company.
Document Everything and Exchange Information
The information you’ll need from the other driver is as follows:
Name, address and phone number of the other driver, and, if possible, a photo copy of their driver’s license.
Insurance policy numbers
Year, make, and model of all vehicles involved as well as license plate numbers
Taking photographs of vehicle damage can help your present evidence in court if a lawsuit is filed against you. Additionally, photos provide evidence to your insurance company and help them determine payouts as well.
Notes regarding any conversations you had with those involved in the accident and any witnesses who were at the scene.
Call us at 301-948-2010
Our licensed insurance professionals are here for you to guide you through the claims process, so you’re able to have the peace of mind you deserve.
When COVID-19 first hit, home owners and renters all over the country suddenly became hermits, reluctant to leave the comfort, safety, and security of their own homes. The fear of becoming infected with a virus that, at the time, no one knew very much about, was paralyzing. Once distancing and travel restrictions were lifted, consumers stormed out of their homes and back into the world, eager to have some fun!
It is commonly understood that supply and demand have a direct and important connection. When supply is high and demand is low, prices go down. When supply is low and demand is high, prices go up. This is what we have been seeing as it relates to renting cars. And as such, consumers have been finding it hard to get their hands on a rental car when they want to travel. Why? Well, as travel restrictions eased and restaurants lifted their social-distancing limitations, people immediately took the first opportunity they could to return their lives to some semblance of normalcy, like a desperate fish out of water.
Areas with warmer weather are seeing the most dramatic jumps in prices. Hawaii and Orlando, FL have seen a drastic influx of travelers that has overwhelmed the supply of available rental cars. Before travel restrictions were eased, many car companies elected to sell off their unused inventory in order to stay afloat and not feel the painful effects of the loss of business. Businesses needed the demand to stay at a high level and that just did not happen during the virus outbreak. And, to make matters even worse, the current semiconductor chip shortage has made the process of finding new cars to fill their fleets a lot longer. Going back to that concept of supply and demand, if there is a shortage of supply, the cost of renting a vehicle is going to go up. That jump could be significant in certain areas of the country, especially in areas that attract a lot of tourists or vacationers.
Experts recommend planning farther ahead if you want to plan a family trip. The farther in advance you make your plans, the likelihood your rental car prices will be lower and more manageable are good.
Car Dealerships may be a good option for anyone who is planning to take a road trip. This is because, unlike what you see at rental car places where the prices are inflated, the prices are fixed at car dealerships.
The best way to combat high prices for rental cars is to plan your trips and vacations well in advance. Safe travels!
Think of umbrella insurance as extra coverage. If you have certain coverage limits on your auto insurance policy and you’re involved in an at-fault collision, it’s possible that those limits may be exhausted through having to pay the costs for vehicle damages or medical payments for the other party if they’re injured. An umbrella policy kicks in once those initial limits are exhausted and will likely cover the rest of the costs.
No matter where you stand in regards to your career, whether you’re just starting a new one or you’re preparing to retire, having a solid umbrella insurance policy in place has some important benefits. If you don’t have one and you suffer a catastrophic financial hit, such as a lawsuit, you’ll certainly wish you had one in place beforehand. Every decision you make in life comes at a cost.
Imagine this scenario. You’re driving along on the road, going 65 miles and hour in a 40 mph speed limit zone. To add insult to injury, you’re texting while driving, so your eyes aren’t focused on what’s in front of you. You approach an intersection when the traffic light turns red. You’re still not paying attention. You fly through the light, crashing your car into two other cars in the middle of the intersection. This is just one scenario. Accidents can happen at any moment.
That’s a pretty terrible situation to imagine, isn’t it? Unfortunately, this kind of situation happens more often than you’d think. That’s why it’s so important to have that extra coverage in place just in case something unexpected happens.
Umbrella Insurance isn’t just limited to your automobile. It can also help you cover damages related to your home insurance. For example, if you host a part at your house and someone slips and falls, breaking their ankle, although having someone injured in your home is terrible and unfortunate, your umbrella policy can help you cover the costs of their medical care. Your umbrella policy can also help to protect you against being sued.
Every situation is different and it is understood that not everyone is going to have the same needs. However, in terms of protecting yourself and your peace of mind, it’s best to have that extra protect in case you face a catastrophic event. Call our office at 301-948-2010 to speak with one of our experienced insurance professionals to learn how umbrella insurance can benefit you now.
Are you planning a family road trip? It’s great to have the opportunity to get away with family. But, unfortunately, we can’t always prevent accidents from happening. Before hitting the road, there are several important points about how auto insurance works that you should be aware of. By understanding how auto insurance works, you will also be able to make sure your auto insurance coverage is sufficient.
If You are Taking Your Own Car
If you plan to take a road trip with family or friends and you plan to use your own car, there are a few things you should know: First, always understand that the auto insurance policy follows the car. That means that if you allow your friend Johnny to drive your car during your journey on the road and Johnny gets into an at-fault accident, it will not be Johnny’s auto insurance that kicks in to cover any damages to your car or the car of the other party. Your insurance will pay for the damages. And, depending on how severe the damages are, you may be forced to fork up some cash out of your own pocket if your policy’s limits are exhausted.
Also, each state is going to have different requirements related to auto insurance coverages and the minimum amounts of coverage you will need to have from a legal standpoint. For example, Maryland’s auto insurance limits are: $30,000 minimum per person/$60,000 minimum per accident/$15,000 minimum for property damage. Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage is $30,000 minimum per person and $60,000 per accident. To compare, New York’s state limit requirements are: $25,000 for Bodily Injury per person, $50,000 if one person is killed in an accident, $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 if two people are killed in an auto accident. Property Damage limits are $10,000. If you have an auto insurance policy in one state and get into an accident in another state, your auto insurance company will bump up your limits to that of the other state’s. Be careful not to disqualify yourself from this policy by doing something that is deemed unlawful i.e. driving will intoxicated.
If You Are Renting a Car
If you have comprehensive coverage for a vehicle that is listed on your auto policy, the cost of a rental car is covered in the event of a covered comprehensive loss. This coverage is $20 per day/$900 per loss in Maryland, in Virginia, the coverage limit is $600, and $15 per day or $450 per loss in North Carolina.
Driving to Mexico
If you drive to Mexico, understand that rental cars purchased in the United States are not covered once you cross the border into Mexico. However, if you are driving a car that you own yourself, collision coverage will apply in the event of an accident. Rental cars that are obtained in the United States are not covered overseas.