Being involved in a car accident can be very stressful, especially when you are trying to do everything you are supposed to do when you are supposed to do it. Remembering to take care of your health, find transportation to work, and call the insurance company to report your claim are all time-consuming issues that are equally important.
When you call your insurance company, you probably assume they are going to take care of many of these concerns for you. There are a few basic components to most insurance policies, like rental car coverage, property damage, and medical coverage, that should be covered when you report your claim.
However, the insurance company’s loyalty is to their bottom line, and they will undoubtedly not tell you everything that you are entitled to unless you specifically ask.
Here are five things that your insurance company will not tell you when you have your accident.
If your car is a total loss, you may be out money but your insurance company saves it.
When your car is declared a total loss, your insurance company may give you less than your vehicle is actually worth, leaving you owing the balance that’s left and having to buy a new car.
However, it may cost the insurance company less to pay you the value of your car than to make all of the necessary repairs.
Even if your car gets repaired, it may be worth less than before your accident.
We all know that as soon as you drive your car off of the car lot it loses its value. But when you are in an accident, that value significantly goes down as well.
Even if you have your car repaired back to as good as new, the value will diminish, so when you go to trade in your vehicle, expect this lower value.
Filing a claim can increase your monthly insurance rates.
Your insurance company probably won’t tell you this, but after you have an accident your premiums will probably increase. However, not reporting the crash can backfire on you as well, especially if you plan on taking the at-fault party to court.
The insurance company could also deny coverage for medical bills if you did not report your accident in a timely manner (each company has set deadlines for this), so if you end up more seriously injured than you expected, you could end up with big expenses. Be sure to contact a car accident attorney if you end up in this scenario.
The other car is covered, but your property probably is not.
Liability insurance is great to have, and in some states it is required, but it only pays out if you are at fault and injure another vehicle or person. If you total your own car, the damage won’t be covered, and neither will anything that was in it.
Your insurance company can actually drop your coverage or deny your claim.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the insurance company can drop your coverage. They can also deny your claim if you do not follow the specific terms of your policy or do not report your accident as outlined and required.
When in Doubt, Ask a Personal Injury Expert
Any time you are dealing with an insurance company as the result of a car accident, it is best to retain an attorney to guide you through the process. They have hundreds of corporate lawyers looking out for their interests, so wouldn’t it be smart to have someone knowledgeable looking out for yours?