Whether you experience a fender bender in the parking lot or a damaging cooking fire, AAA Oregon/Idaho has tips for insurance claims to make the process as smooth as possible.

The first step – whether it’s an auto or home insurance claim – is to know what your policy covers. Know how much liability insurance you have, which pays for damages or injuries. It’s also important to know your deductible, what you’ll pay out of pocket before your coverage kicks in.

Auto Insurance Claim Tips

  • When involved in a crash, take steps to protect you and your vehicle from further damage if it’s safe to do so.
  • If there are any injuries, contact the police. Reporting the incident will also establish a formal, written record.
  • Create written and photo documentation of all details related to the accident. Obtain the names and driver’s license numbers of everyone involved, as well as their insurance policy and contact information. If possible, try to find a witness. Take photos of the accident scene and automobiles involved – including close ups of any damage and license plates – is also important. If your vehicle was stolen or involved in a crime, you’ll likely need a police report.
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the incident and any damage. Learn what they’ll need from you (and when), and what you can expect from them. When you file a claim, keep the claim number handy for ongoing discussions. Take notes on who you spoke with, when, and what you discussed with them.
  • If you’ve been injured in an accident, visit your doctor as soon as possible. Obtain medical documentation of your injuries. Then, make sure to submit all relevant medical reports to the insurance company when requested.

Home and Renters Insurance Claim Tips

  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible, and alert the police if you suspect any laws may have been broken, as in the case of a burglary or vandalism.
  • Make a list of stolen or damaged items. If property or items are damaged, be sure to take photos and/or videos. Creating a home inventory of your most valuable possessions (including purchase price and approximate date and location of purchase) may also help with the claims process.
  • Make minor repairs. After taking photos and/or videos, make minor repairs to prevent further destruction and to keep you and your possessions safe.
  • Keep notes and receipts for any out-of-pocket services and expenses for any home repairs, or living expenses such as hotel bills. Depending on your policy, costs may be covered – but be sure to know the limits beforehand.

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