If you've been involved in a car accident in Illinois, you'll want to know certain things about bringing an auto insurance claim.
Typically, you'll have the option of filing a claim with either your own insurance company or the insurance company of the other driver, according to the Illinois Department of Insurance. Insurance laws differ for bringing a claim against your own insurance company and that of another.
Here are seven things you should know about filing an insurance claim against your own insurer:
- What should you do after a loss? You should immediately report all losses directly to your insurance company. If the accident was caused by a hit-and-run driver, you will want to notify the police. Without a police report, your claim may be denied. You may also want to show the damaged vehicle to the company before repairing it.
- What information should you give the insurance company? You should turn over any legal documents you receive arising from the accident. This can include a sworn proof of loss, medical and auto repair bills, and police reports.
- Can you choose your own repair shop? Your insurance company may suggest a repair shop, but you are not required to follow the suggestion. But if your repair shop charges a premium, you may end up owing the difference.
- What about improvements to the car? Your insurance company may deduct for betterment and improvements to your vehicle. This can include repairing your vehicle with newer parts.
- What other deductions can the insurance company make? Generally, the insurance company will only cover damage caused by the accident to place the vehicle in a similar condition as before the accident. For example, your company will not have to uncover previously unrepaired damage and rust.
- Do I have to accept replacement crash parts? No. While you do not have to accept replacement parts that are not from the manufacturer, you may still owe the difference between the replacement parts and the more expensive parts.
- How is the value of the car determined? Insurance companies will use published guide books like Kelley Blue Book to determine the retail value of your car.