Understanding the State Farm Claims Process
If you have been involved in a car accident and are insured with State Farm auto, it’s important to contact the insurance company as soon as possible to initiate the claims process. While every accident varies slightly, the general claims process is as follows:
Reporting the Accident
While it’s easy to get caught up in the stress of the moments following a collision, it’s important to contact State Farm as soon after an accident as possible. Of course, no one should ever delay medical treatment to do so, but after receiving the care you need, be sure to talk to an insurance adjuster.
When possible, State Farm will send an adjuster to the scene of the accident to take photos, videos and make notes about the crash. They will also likely interview you and other people involved in the wreck. Even if an adjuster does not come out to the scene, it’s a good idea for anyone involved in an accident to snap a few photos themselves. State Farm offers a Pocket Agent smartphone app that allows users to quickly upload photos from the scene of an accident. These will come in handy when you file a claim, and can help you maximize the car accident settlement amount you receive.
Starting the Claim
Whether you choose to file online, via the app or over the phone, beginning the claims process is easy. Select your preferred method of communication and provide the required information, including details about the incident in which your vehicle was involved. If drivable, you may be asked to bring your car into their nearest office. If the car is not safe to drive, State Farm may tow the vehicle to a mechanic or send a claims adjuster to the scene, to your home or to the garage.
When initiating the claims process, the adjuster will ask you about the incident in which you were involved. It’s important to be as honest as possible and never misrepresent what happened. State Farm may ask for documentation associated with the accident, including police reports and proof of medical examination. Based on their investigation, State Farm will determine if you were at fault for the damage caused by the incident.
Repairing Your Car
State Farm customers may take their car to any mechanic they wish for repairs. If you are unsure of which to choose, or don’t have a personal preference, State Farm’s Auto Damage Service Program can assist you in selecting the perfect place. Once the car has been towed or driven to the chosen auto body shop, the claims adjuster will want to take photos and notes if they have not already done so.
In some cases, vehicles are totaled when involved in accidents. In such cases, State Farm may pay out the value of the vehicle to the policyholder, minus a deposit. If you do not feel the amount offered is fair, an attorney can help you negotiate a more reasonable sum. Because lawyers handle insurance company negotiations like this on a daily basis, it pays to have them go to bat on your behalf. Even the most skilled negotiator can benefit from having an experienced, knowledgeable car accident attorney by their side when talking with State Farm about compensation. In some instances, it may be better to deal with State Farm’s arbitration department as an alternative to going to court.