your guide to the claims process
To help you understand and confidently maneuver the claims process, we've compiled this useful guide.
Select a stage or browse through the guide to learn how to prepare for your claim and what to expect from the post-accident process. If you've recently been in an accident and need to file a car insurance claim, give us a call at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262) or file online.
No matter how safe you are behind the wheel, accidents happen. That's why it's best to be prepared for the unexpected. Check to make sure you have important contact info (insurance company, roadside service, emergency contacts) in a handy location, like your glove box.
At the accident scene
Assuming you're safe and uninjured, document the accident and try to get the following info at the scene to make the claims process a little smoother:
- Names of all drivers involved
- Number of people in each car
- Addresses of other drivers involved
- Phone numbers
- Names of other drivers' insurance companies
- Other drivers' policy numbers
- Phone numbers/addresses of their insurance companies (if they
have them on hand)
- License plate numbers of other cars
- Descriptions of other cars involved in accident (year, make, model)
- Witness information (names and numbers)
- Photos of the damage (which you can send to Esurance claims representatives through our mobile app)
Even if you consider yourself at fault in the accident, we suggest you don't admit fault as you cooperate with police at the scene. This may become important down the road.
Filing your car insurance claim
File your claim as soon as you possibly can. Give us a call at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262) to get started or start your claim online or through our mobile app.
Talking to your dedicated claims representative
When you file your claim, you'll be assigned a dedicated claims representative who will help you through the entire process. Our goal is to contact you within 24 business hours to get your perspective and to gather accident info. That means if you file your claim on Thursday, we'll do our best to get in touch by Friday. If you file Friday, we'll try to get in touch by Monday.
Your rep will then schedule a vehicle inspection at your convenience. This is the first step in the repair and claim settlement process.
The inspection process
Not all claims will require an inspection, but if yours does, your claims rep will schedule an appointment with a claims adjuster or appraiser to examine your car.
The adjuster's report
If your claims adjuster determines that the damage to your vehicle can be repaired, they'll contact your claims rep with a damage estimate.
The amount paid toward your vehicle repairs depends on the types of coverage you have on your car insurance policy and on the type of incident (collision, vandalism, etc.).
If your claims adjuster determines that the cost to repair your car exceeds your car's worth, they will suggest that it be written off as a total loss. The adjuster may also suggest totaling the car for a variety of other reasons, including salt water damage or a punctured firewall. At that point, your representative will make a recommendation for a settlement based on different factors, including your car's salvage value.
Getting a rental car after an accident
If you need a rental car and you have rental car coverage, your claims representative will help you get reimbursed up to the limits of your coverage (typically $30 a day for up to 30 days).
The Esurance repair process
Esurance works closely with a network of repair shops (known as E-star® shops) across the country. These shops have a long-standing relationship with our company and they also provide our repair monitoring service, RepairView®. Another bonus: if you choose an E-star shop, your car repairs will be guaranteed for as long as you own the vehicle.
Your claims rep will suggest an E-star shop for your repairs, but you always have the right to bring your vehicle to the shop of your choice instead. How long your repairs take depends on the extent of the damage, accessibility of replacement parts, and other variable factors.
The insurance settlement
This is where the coverages and limits you chose come into play.
In most cases, if your car heads to the shop, you'll be offered a claim settlement through your claims representative. If your car's declared a total loss, you'll be offered a check for your car's agreed-upon pre-accident value (known in the insurance world as actual cash value, or ACV).
Closing your claim
After the settlement is, well, settled, your rep will close your claim and notify you that the process is complete.
Making the recovery process easier
We're here to help. If you need to talk to someone regarding a claim, you can contact us online, over the phone at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262), or through the mobile app.
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Esurance claims center
Use our easy-to-navigate Esurance claims center to report an accident, track your claim, and get useful claims information.