Here at Esurance, we strive to make your claim experience as easy and smooth as possible. And we'll be there to walk you through every step of the process.
Presenting photo claims
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How to file a car insurance claim
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
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.
After you file your car insurance claim
After reporting a car insurance 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.
Your rep will then schedule a vehicle inspection at your convenience, or, if the damage is minor, you can submit photos of the damage through our photo claims feature on Esurance Mobile to get an appraisal.
Either way, your dedicated claims representative is committed to helping you throughout the entire claims process. This can include:
- Helping you decide how the car's damage will be inspected (or if an inspection is even needed).
- Helping to arrange for a rental car, if needed, while yours is in the shop. We can help pay for it, too, if you have rental coverage on your policy.
- Explaining how you can monitor your claim online.
- Suggesting trusted repair shops in your area.
- Updating your claim status.
- Answering any questions you have along the way.
- Settling your claim quickly and fairly to help you get back on the road.
The inspection process
Not all claims will require an inspection (and photo claims could help you skip this step), but if yours does, your claims rep will schedule an appointment with a claims adjuster or appraiser to examine your car.
Within one business day, your claims rep will contact you with an estimate for repairs. Depending on the extent of the damage, the appraiser will either settle the claim or set up an appointment to inspect the damage in person.
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.
The repair and recovery process
This varies by circumstance, of course, but here's how Esurance can help you through the repair and post-accident process.
If you have emergency road service coverage (called towing and labor in some states) from Esurance, we can help you arrange a tow from the scene.
If you were in an accident and you have comprehensive or collision coverage, your policy could help cover your tow even if you don't have emergency road service.
If you don't have our emergency road coverage, you may have to cover the costs of your tow out of pocket unless you have another Esurance-approved roadside assistance plan.
Inspection and repairs
You can take your car to any shop you like for inspection and repairs, or in most states, we can help you find a nearby E-star shop, which is part of our nationwide network of trusted facilities.
If you have rental car coverage, CarMatch Rental Coverage®, or transportation expense coverage on your policy, we'll help you stay on the road while your car's in the shop. And if you don't have rental coverage, we can help you get a competitive rental rate from a preferred agency.
Types of claims
Claims come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from fender benders to hit-and-runs. In this section, you can find out about the various types and how Esurance handles them.
Accidents are stressful. But being informed can help. Head here for info on everything accident-related, from how fault is determined to why insurance companies total cars.
Fraud and theft
Car insurance fraud and car theft can happen to the best of us. Get tips on how prevent either from happening to you.
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