A Step by Step Guide to Filing Truck Insurance Claims

Strong Tie Insurance May 4, 2020 Commercial Truck Insurance StrongtieInsurance

After an accident in your commercial truck, dealing with trucking insurance adjusters, paperwork, and local authorities can be extremely stressful. In many cases, the aftermath of the accident can be more stressful than the accident itself. Knowing what to do and how the process works can significantly reduce issues after an accident. 

 

Of course, having the right commercial truck insurance can make all of the difference. Not having semi-truck insurance will make the situation even worse.

Here is what you need to know about filing truck insurance claims:

Purchase the Appropriate Commercial Trucking Insurance

The process of dealing with an accident starts long before the accident even occurs. Before you hit the road, you want a contract that protects you and your trucking business. State laws already require minimum amounts of insurance, but you’re often better served by adding specific policies for your needs. There are a variety of trucking insurance types, so make sure you explore your options. 

Even if you already have insurance, it’s wise to examine options every so often. You should continuously adjust your coverage based on your needs and the kinds of deals you find. Just because an insurance company offers a reasonable price this year doesn’t mean they’ll be the best option next year. Just make sure you compare similar kinds of coverages when shopping around. Not comparing apples to apples could lead to a poor decision that will cost more down the line.

Contact Your Insurance Company to File a Claim

Technically, before you can file a claim, there must be an accident. That means you must experience some kind of property, bodily injury, cargo, or equipment damage. Some coverage even covers vandalism, theft, acts of nature, and more. You should contact your semi truck insurance agent immediately after the damage occurs. 

Make sure you have the appropriate information before filing the claim. Not having this information can delay how your claim is processed.

  • Valid driver’s license that allows you to drive your vehicle
  • Valid insurance policy. You’ll have a policy number with start and end dates for your coverage. 
  • The license plate number of the insured vehicles, as well as other vehicles involved in the accident.
  • Information about the accident: where it happened, what happened, etc. 
  • Police reports, pictures of the scene and damage, witness contact information, or anything else that helps tell the story of the accident, when available.

Make sure to keep a record of who you talk to when filing the claim as well as your claim number. This will help you keep track of your claim’s progress. 

Your insurance company will assign an adjuster to your claim. This adjuster will be your main point of contact for the entire process. They will most likely make contact to get more information from you about the accident.

It’s essential that you stick to the facts, be completely honest, and don’t filter in speculation about what happened. You can turn in any photographs you took of the accident and contact information from witnesses. You may be required to have a certified repair shop look at the damage to your truck. 

Your adjuster will evaluate the facts with your policy and make decisions about how the case proceeds. This is when you may get an initial or final payment, and you may have to sign a release.

Determining Fault

The driver who is at fault will most likely be responsible for paying for damages. If you are at fault, your insurance company should pay according to the terms of your policy. If someone else is at fault, their insurance may take on the burden of responsibility. Determining fault isn’t always that easy, though.

The insurance company’s adjuster determines fault based on their evaluation. If there are multiple insurance companies involved, they will try to work together to make the decision. If they can’t agree, fault is determined by a court. While a police report may cite one party for the accident, that alone is not how the insurance company makes their determination.

Sometimes, drivers can share responsibility. That means you might be found to be partially at fault, which can reduce how much you can recover from the other party’s insurance company. If you are at fault and the other party sues you for personal injury, your insurance company will represent you in court and in negotiations for a settlement. 

If another party is at fault, you should get some assistance from your insurance company, but they won’t necessarily take over the case. You may have to file a claim with the other party’s insurance company. You may even need to hire your own legal representation if you need to sue the other person for damages. Make sure to check your trucking insurance policy to understand how your insurance company deals with this area.

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Getting Repairs to Your Truck

Your insurance company will most likely offer detailed instructions regarding getting your truck repaired. It’s important that you don’t make any repairs until the adjuster inspects the damage or has a certified shop do the same. The only exception is if delaying the repair will cause further damage, but you should discuss this with your insurance company first.

You are typically not required to use the repair shop that your insurance company suggests. There are benefits to doing so, however, so make sure to weigh your options. For example, if more damage is exposed, the authorized shop will be able to get approval a little faster.

You can also appeal decisions if you’re not confident in how the company is handling your claim. Contact your agent and insurer to discuss your concerns. You may need to get an independent appraisal.

Medical Treatments

Don’t wait to get treatment after an accident. Make sure your doctor knows your visit is due to an automotive accident. Talk with the medical staff to determine if they will bill you or go straight to your insurance company. If another driver caused severe injuries, you might need to hire an attorney to help make sure the other company pays the correct amount.

Less Stress by Having the Right Commercial Trucking Insurance

One of the best ways to reduce the stress of an accident is by going with an insurance company that understands your needs. While there are many insurance carriers out there, only those who understand the trucking business know how to serve you best. From responding to an accident quickly to getting your truck back on the road, Strong Tie Insurance understands your mission. 

Get your free quote today, and drive with greater confidence that Strong Tie Insurance has your back!