If you’re car is damaged in an accident, you will need to file a claim to get it repaired.
Florida is a no-fault state. That means that insurance companies pay for damages, regardless of who was at fault.
1. Report the Accident If Damage Is More Than $500
However, the insurance claims adjuster should not be the first person you contact. If the damage to your car was $500 or any damage to property in the car totals plus damage to the car totals $500, Florida law requires you to report the accident to the proper authorities. If it happened in a municipality, the proper authority is the police. If you weren’t in a specific municipality, it should be the country sheriff.
What if you’re not sure whether the damage is more than $500? It’s better, frankly, to err on the side of caution. First, even a small amount of damage to a vehicle, especially a newer one, can add up surprisingly quickly. It may hit the $500 threshold even if you don’t think it will. Second, it’s always a good idea to have a police or sheriff’s report on an accident. It provides official document of what occurred, which is important for dealing with the insurance company and the other driver.
2. Exchange Information with the Other Driver, If Possible
You should always exchange information with the other driver after an accident. Get the name, telephone number, and insurance information. Give the other driver your information. If you were hit when parked, the other motorist should leave that information somewhere you can find it. If they did not, see if surveillance footage may be available (if you were in a parking garage or municipal lot, for example). Footage may be able to provide the license plate number.
3. Call Your Insurance Company/Agent
Report the accident as soon as possible to your insurance company. Filing a claim occur with no delay, other than calling law enforcement and talking to the other driver. The sooner your insurance company hears from you, the quicker claims can be processed. Write down what happened, what the damage is, and whether or not anyone was injured. Speak calmly and clearly, and answer any questions truthfully. Many insurance companies send out adjusters to take pictures of the vehicle. If yours doesn’t, take pictures with your smartphone.
If you would to like to discuss your options for car insurance please call us at 561-732-9305 our quoting hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. In addition, you can request a quote online. Please remember, We Handle All the Work, While You Save!
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Rob Macoviak is the President of Oyer, Macoviak and Associates. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates is the oldest independent insurance agency in Boynton Beach and has been in business since 1953.