Understanding the Geico Claims Process
After a car accident, it pays to stay proactive and be as knowledgeable as possible about the Geico claims process. It can help you protect yourself and ensure your claim is handled effectively. In some cases, going through the Geico arbitration process may be an alternative to filing a claim with their claims department. Here are how they are generally processed by Geico:
Initiating the Claim
Once you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s important to report your incident to Geico as soon as possible. Claims can be filed over the phone, using Geico’s smartphone app or online. A liability investigation will be initiated to establish which driver was at fault for the crash. To complete this investigation, Geico will send a liability examiner to the scene of the accident to take a look at the damage. If the car is drivable, however, they may ask you to bring the vehicle to one of their offices.
The Geico agent will likely ask you several questions about your accident when you begin your claim. These interviews are typically relatively short, but are recorded and considered to be official, legal statements about the accident. It’s important to answer questions as thoroughly as possible, and to never embellish or make up answers if you’re unsure of how to respond. It is better to answer with an honest “I don’t know” than a lie.
Geico allows policyholders to select the garage where the car is taken for repairs. The initial inspection of the vehicle should take only about a half hour, with the claims adjuster on site to take notes and thoroughly examine the damage sustained in the wreck. They work hand in hand with the mechanic to understand the full extent of the damage done to the car. At this time, the claims adjuster will determine if your vehicle is worth repairing. If the necessary repair work is expected to cost more than the value of the car, Geico will declare the vehicle totaled.
It is the job of the claims adjuster to investigate the accident and determine which driver was at fault. In many cases, both drivers share a percentage of the blame. To determine this breakdown, the adjuster will look at the moments leading up to the crash, statements from witnesses, photos and videos from the scene, and findings from the official police report. Any conflicting information will require the claims adjuster to dig in and conduct more thorough research before determining who is at fault for the incident.
When a car has been declared totaled, Geico will offer you the value of the vehicle minus your deductible. This deductible may be reimbursed if the at-fault driver’s insurance company assumes liability. This offer is negotiable, and it may be a good idea to solicit the help of a knowledgeable car accident attorney for help getting the compensation you deserve. Disputing the value of a totaled vehicle isn’t always as straightforward as it might seem; having an experienced lawyer by your side to help negotiate a car accident settlement can make all the difference.