Have you had a car accident and have some questions about the process of submitting a claim?
First and foremost, we hope that everyone is alright and that there weren’t any injuries. Our dedicated in-house claims professionals will guide you through the claims process and answer any questions you may have.
For your convenience, below is a list of questions our clients have asked us about auto accident claims.
When is my car considered a total loss?
A vehicle is a total loss when the damages cannot be safely repaired or when the cost to repair isn’t practical given the vehicle’s value.
What information do I need to report my claim?
Generally, we will ask for the following information:
- Your contact information
- The contact information of anyone else involved
- Your policy information (if available)
- The type of loss you are reporting (auto, home, etc.)
- The date the incident occurred
- The location of the accident
- A description of the loss
- A description of any injuries
When you call to report your loss, we will document the details and contact your insurance company, who will then contact you and provide you with a claim number.
I don’t have all the information needed to report my claim. What should I do?
You should report your claim to us, as soon as possible, even if you don’t have all the information. The faster you report the claim, the sooner our claims department can begin to assist you. We will be in contact with you throughout the claim process, so you will have the opportunity to add any necessary information.
How long will it take to settle my claim?
Each loss is different, so the length of time needed to settle the claim varies. The time it takes to inspect the damages and investigate the claim will determine the time needed to settle your claim. Our claims professionals will guide you through each step of the way and will answer any questions you may have.
When can I expect payment?
First, your adjuster will review the facts of the loss to determine what happened and whether the loss is covered by your insurance policy. For damaged property or vehicles, this usually requires an in-person inspection by your insurance company. Once your carrier’s claim professionals determine whether the policy covers the loss, they will typically release a check based on the estimate of damages.
Where can I get my car repaired?
This is your decision. Your McSweeney & Ricci Claims Associate can provide you with a list of recommended repair shops or you can select a repair shop of your own.
Do I get a rental car if I need one?
Yes-if you have rental reimbursement coverage on your auto insurance policy. Your claims representative can reserve a rental vehicle for you. If you don’t have rental reimbursement coverage, you still might be able to get a rental car through the other driver’s insurance company if the other driver was at fault for the accident.
How long can I keep my rental vehicle?
If you have rental reimbursement coverage on your auto policy and are using a rental vehicle as a result of a total loss claim, refer to your auto policy. Your claims representative will also let you know when your rental coverage expires.
What is the total loss process?
If your vehicle is declared a total loss the following steps will occur:
Evaluation-Your insurance company will conduct a market survey to establish the actual cash value of your vehicle. The survey will be based on your vehicle’s condition prior to the loss. It will also compare your vehicle to similar vehicles sold or available for sale in your area.
Settlement-A claims representative will contact you to review the market survey report. They will let you know what your settlement amount is and what documents you will need to provide to have the settlement check issued to you.
What should I do if my vehicle is a total loss?
- Remove your personal belongings from the vehicle.
- Provide authorization to the repair shop or towing service so they can move your vehicle to a secure storage facility.
- Find your title. If your lender holds the title to your vehicle, ask them to give us permission to obtain your title and loan payoff information.
- If required by state law or if requested to do so by your claims representative, remove the license plates from your vehicle.