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If you have been involved in an auto collision, odds are you your head is spinning with all of the aftermath. You were diligent in documenting the accident scene , collecting all pertinent information from parties involved and now it is time to file your insurance claim.
Terminology used by insurance companies can get quite confusing. The gray areas increase when professionals mix up the jargon as well. Who is the claimant? Who is the insured? You are sure to have a plethora of questions. Medical injuries and lawsuits only complicate matters in the coming weeks.
If you have been involved in an auto collision, our goal is to help you walk through it with greater clarity both by assisting you with your insurance claim and providing you high-quality repairs that will get you back on the road safely.
When it comes to your insurance claim, let’s first get a handle on what the difference is between a claimant and an insured.
Keep in mind, the word “claim” refers to an actual event and involves a loss. Take an auto policy claim for example or a loss would be a stolen car or an accident. When you call your insurance company you are filing a “claim”, however it is important to note, the event is called a claim even before you file. The act of filing does not make it a claim.
What is a Claimant?
When an auto accident occurs, the claimant is the one who reports a claim to his or her insurance company. They are typically the person who is suffering a loss in the claim, or accident. If you were hit by someone else and your vehicle sustained damage that will be in need of repair, then YOU are the “Claimant”
One accident, or claim, may include several claimants. For example, when an auto accident involves more than one automobile or party, the person being hit and suffering auto damage is the claimant – as we learned above. If the other party involved believes you to be at fault as well, he or she has the opportunity to file a counterclaim. Hang tight, this gets confusing. See if this helps…to avoid issues, a defendant who is also a claimant is referred to as a counter-claimant.
Simply put, a claimant’s vehicle damages get paid by the at-fault party’s insurance company. If someone else damages your car, his or her insurance pays for the repairs.
As the claimant, you need to keep these key guidelines in mind.
It is important to take the necessary steps regarding your auto accident while on scene. Not only because it keeps the details documented for later use, but because these details can be used by insurance companies to determine who is at fault.
Insurance companies determine fault by obtaining information supplied through accident reports filed by you and law enforcement officials and any other documentation requested.
If you become the victim of a hit-and-run accident, your insurance covers you as the insured. You are responsible for the deductible and any repairs outside your policy’s coverage. A rental car may be part of the package as well, depending on your policy.
Why Does all this Matter?
It is important to be able to make sense of your collision repair claim and allows you the knowledge you need to understand your rights as a claimant. You should stand clear when being steered by an insurance company to choose its preferred repair shop by choosing a reputable collision repair shop you feel comfortable with.
For more information on insurance claims assistance or to schedule a no-obligation estimate, contact Citro’s Auto Body, located in Pompton Lakes, NJ by calling us Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm at 973.835.1451 or visiting us online to see how we can get you back on the road safely.
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