First-time drivers have a lot to learn about the rules of the road. Though your teen passed drivers’ education and even knows how to parallel park, they are still far from an experienced driver. For instance, few new drivers fully understand filing a car insurance claim.
Motorists file thousands of claims a year with different insurance companies in different states. Understanding all the rules is nearly impossible, but you can avoid the most common and damaging mistakes.
The most common car insurance claim errors
Even veteran motorists can make mistakes on their claim after an accident. Remembering the five most common car insurance mistakes can help avoid making them in the future and help young drivers be more responsible:
- Incomplete claim: After an accident, the last thing many drivers want to do is deal with insurance. This reluctance often leads people to submit claims without seeing a doctor or a mechanic. After a week or so, they may begin to experience symptoms of injuries and seek medical attention. If the adjuster closed the claim without rewarding damages, you may have to pay those bills out of pocket.
- False claim: Inexperienced drivers may hope they can avoid fault for an accident by lying on the insurance claim. Claims adjusters thoroughly investigate contested claims and will likely uncover any falsehoods. Submitting a fraudulent claim can cause you to lose your insurance altogether or face criminal charges.
- Unnecessary claim: Some people file claims too eagerly. The damage caused by “fender bender” accidents is often well below your deductible — submitting an insurance claim will only increase your monthly premiums, costing much more in the long run.
- Not enough information: Teen drivers often overlook including enough information with their insurance claim, like photos. A claims adjuster can make more accurate decisions about a claim if they have photos of the accident scene, including skid marks, nearby traffic signals, damage, and weather conditions.
- Too much information: Some new drivers may be too forthcoming with other information. When talking to a claims adjuster, do not admit fault or any role in the accident. Keep answers short and factual and refer the adjuster to medical professionals or mechanics for detailed information. Do not tell the adjuster you feel fine, as they may take that as a reason to deny medical coverage.
Legal expertise can go a long way
Many claimants find more success in hiring a lawyer who understands Missouri’s complex motor vehicle laws. A local attorney can review your insurance claim for errors and work with adjusters to secure the coverage you need.