Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jun 24, 2018

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Here's what you need to know...

  • If someone hits your car, there are a couple of ways to make an insurance claim
  • If you have the information for who hit your car, you can contact their insurance provider
  • If you do not know who hit your car, then you may contact your insurance provider to file a claim
  • There are some states that are no-fault states, which normally require all drivers to have no-fault coverage
  • In a no-fault state, you will normally contact your provider to file an insurance claim

Filing an insurance claim can be a simple process, or it can end up being more complicated depending on what information you do or do not have.

Anytime someone hits your car, it is important to get as much information as possible about the driver and the vehicle.

Depending on the state, there many be no-fault insurance regulations; meaning you will need to file a claim on your policy regardless of who caused the accident.

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How do you file a claim if you have the other driver’s information?

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When you have the other driver’s information, and they have hit your car, then your first step should be to contact your insurance provider.

In this type of situation, they will normally ask you several questions to understand who was responsible for the accident, and they will also determine if you have coverage for this type of accident.

Make sure to speak to them about a time limit for filing a claim, just in case you do need to contact them in the future.

Once you’ve spoken to your insurance provider, you will normally need to contact the other driver’s insurance provider to file the claim.

They will normally require some basic information about the driver, the vehicle, and the policy to proceed with filing the claim.

When speaking with any other insurance company, be honest about what happened, the extent of your property damage, and mention any bodily injuries up front.

Although you can normally add information to your claim at a later time, it is normally perceived better if you can provide full and accurate information up front.

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How do you file a claim if you do not know who hit your car?

If someone hits your car, but you do not know who, then it’s important to contact your insurance provider.

Your insurance provider will be able to provide you with advice on how to proceed with the claim process, including what proof they may require.

In these types of situations, your insurance provider may still reach a settlement with you to get your vehicle repaired or replaced.

Before you file a claim, it may be in your best interest to get an assessment of how much damage has occurred to your vehicle.

In situations where your insurance provider is covering the damages, you will be responsible for your deductible before the policy limits come into play. Depending on how high a deductible you carry, it may be more cost effective to pay for the damages yourself.

There are insurance providers that offer accident forgiveness programs or lower deductible programs. For accident forgiveness, your insurance provider may be willing to avoid raising your policy premium in the event of an accident.

For lower deductible programs, your provider may be willing to lower your deductible annually when you do not file a claim during the previous calendar year.

These coverage options may not be available through every provider, so it’s important to talk to any prospective insurance provider before buying coverage. You may need to get multiple quotes to find the best coverage for you.

How do you file a claim in a no-fault insurance state?

Filing a claim in a no-fault insurance state normally means you will contact your own insurance provider.

Your insurance provider will then handle your claim settlement with you; then they may try to go through subrogation with any other insurance providers involved.

This allows your provider to make a monetary recovery without the high costs of a court case.

Your Coverage

Filing an insurance claim is normally a straightforward process, but a lack of information can make the process more complicated.

Also, the state where your accident occurs can influence how you can file your claim as well as how your insurance provider handles claim settlement.

If you are unsure about your coverage options, speak to your insurance provider for further clarification. You may also contact your state’s Department of Insurance for additional information regarding your state’s insurance regulations.

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