7 Useful Tips on Dealing With Your Auto Insurance Company When you get into a Car Accident in Erie PA.
Getting into an car crash in Erie PA is stressful enough but having to deal with your insurance company can be overwhelming. The most important thing to remember is your insurance company is not your friend. They make money by collecting premiums and not by paying out claims so it is important for you to understand your rights before you get taken by your company. You should know your rights when it comes to your car repairs and what to expect if there are injured people.
Hopefully the people involved in your Erie car accident haven’t been seriously injured. Even if this is not the case if you were at fault you might have substantial risk in the case. We have put together tips that will help you minimize your risk and to help you best deal with your auto insurance company after your auto accident.
1. Contact Your Auto Insurance Company As Soon As Possible
All insurance companies require you to notify them in a timely manner in the event you have a car accident in Erie PA. Failing to do this will delay the investigation and could jeopardize your rights under Pennsylvania law. Even in little accidents when it seams everyone is just fine and there is little damage we take it upon ourselves to handle the matter not getting the insurance company involved. More times than not agreements you make at the scene often get broken and the accident gets reported to the company anyhow. It is best to quickly notify your insurance company right after the auto accident. Call your agent or contact the accident claim department.
2. Stick to the Facts and Be Very Clear
Your accident details should be given as clearly and factually as possible. At this point placing blame or accepting fault could hurt you. Simply report the details of your accident to the insurance companies adjustor in a clear manner.
3. Do Not Lie. Always Tell the Truth!
This is probably the most important tip of all. Never lie to your insurance company thinking you might not be fully covered. You could potentially have loss in coverage if you are caught lying and potentially could face criminal penalties.
4. You Have Rights When it Comes to Repairs
Your insurance company is required to cover all repairs necessary to return your vehicle to its pre-crash condition if you are covered for collision in Pennsylvania. They must total the car if the cost of the repairs are more than the value of the vehicle. One thing that most people don’t know is you can choose the shop that your prefer to make the repairs. Make sure that the auto body shop will be able to return you car to pre-accident condition.
5. Check Your Rental Car Coverage
You will want to rent a quality rental car while your car is in repair shop. Make sure that your auto insurance policy covers liability and collision on the vehicle your are renting. You will definitely want to purchase this level of insurance if the rental car company does not offer it. Make sure to limit your future liability for any possible accident you might have while renting a vehicle.
6. If someone is injured in your accident it is important to know your rights.
If unfortunately the accident was your fault, your auto insurance company will pay the cost for damages and medical care up to your policy limits. If by chance you are being held liable for more than your policy limits, an Erie PA accident attorney can help defend you and possible end up saving you money in the long run. Your attorney can also handle all the details with the other attorney and insurance companies thereby relieving you of that stress.
7. You have Rights If Your Car is Totaled
Pennsylvania has guidelines that all auto insurance appraisers must abide by. These guidelines include three ways of determining the value of your vehicle. Most will look at the average blue book values using resources like Kelley Blue Book. They will also take into consideration what car dealers are currently selling vehicles for that are similar to yours. If you think the appraiser is undervaluing your vehicle do a little research yourself and present your facts to them so they can give you a fair price for your totaled car.
If you feel at any time that your insurance company is taking advantage of you, remember, you have options. If you can’t work it out with the customer service representative you can call the PA Insurance Department at (877)881-6388 or follow your insurance companies dispute resolution process to get fair results.
We Are Here To Help You!
If you are having problems resolving issues with your insurance company you can contact an an experienced injury lawyer to get the advise you need. We have three office locations to better serve Northwestern Pennsylvania residents after a car accident. If you have been injured in a serious car accident, contact us today to discuss your legal rights to compensation. We can help you avoid costly mistakes that people typically make by trying to fight the insurance company without the help of an experienced injury lawyer.