Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Aug 18, 2021

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Key takeaways...

  • Every year, insurance providers spend hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement for car accident claims.
  • In the event of a covered incident, you should file a claim and get compensated for your losses. You will be required to establish liability to receive a settlement
  • After an accident, the insurance company sends an adjuster to assess the validity of your claim. Being well-prepared and respectful to the adjuster improves your chances of getting a better payout

It’s illegal to drive without car insurance in all U.S. states. Driving without meeting your state’s auto liability requirements attracts a wide range of penalties.

Some of the penalties that uninsured drivers stand to face include tickets, fines, suspension of the driving license, car impounds, and possible jail time.

To avoid problems with the authorities, check with your state’s department of insurance for minimum auto liability requirements and comply.

When shopping for auto insurance products, it helps to compare quotes from several providers before you settle for one. Comparing quotes will help you get the best deal. Enter your zip code above to get started!

How to Settle a Car Accident


Car accidents can have devastating effects on the victims, financially and otherwise. The last thing you need to be worrying about after a car accident is how to pay for medical bills or fix your car.

If you find yourself wondering how to proceed with the claim, here are a few tips to help you out.

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Accident with Another Driver

If you are involved in an accident with another driver and it’s not your fault, you should have no problem “winning” the settlement and having your claim paid out. Your first step will be to file a claim against the guilty party.

There is a chance you may be dealing with the other driver’s insurer directly in your efforts to get your claim settled. You will have to establish liability. This process is not easy because they too can dispute your argument or the culpability of their client.

Note that the insurance company is not on your side, all the company wants is to protect its bottom line.

The other driver’s insurance company may try to lowball you. To support its position, the company will argue that you were partially at fault for the accident or that you don’t have enough documentation to support your claim.

At some point, the company may give you an offer and tell you to file a lawsuit if you’re not satisfied insurers are not legally required to reach an agreement with you.

In the event of a collision with another car in which you are not at fault, the best way to successfully file a claim with the other driver’s auto insurer is having lots of evidence to back your claim. For instance, take as many pictures as you can at the scene of the accident.

Take pictures of the following:

  • The license plates for both vehicles
  • Areas of physical damages on both vehicles
  • The location of the vehicles at the scene

Today’s cell phones have amazing camera capabilities, take advantage of that. While still at the scene, document the following information:

  • Name and contact information of the other driver
  • The other driver’s auto insurance provider and their contact information
  • Names and phone numbers of any witnesses at the scene
  • Badge number and contact information of any law enforcement officers at the scene

At some point, you may find yourself frustrated. Don’t give up yet. Having all the information above will help you file a claim smoothly and successfully.

When dealing with your insurer, if you happen to experience any of these problems, consider changing providers.

Start comparing quotes from other insurance companies early so that when it’s time for renewal you will be ready to switch.

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Organize Your Claim

Claims should be backed by evidence. The more evidence you have, the higher the chances of having your claim paid. Organize the facts, details, and all the other information you collected from the site before presenting it to the company.

Having organized, easy to access information will help you keep up with the insurance adjuster. 

As long as you have a valid claim, the adjuster is supposed to assess the situation and give you a fair settlement amount. But adjusters are people too, treating them with respect and showing preparedness might just earn you better pay-out.

Have a High and a Low Figure

Auto insurers will always try to get you to accept the least possible settlement. When negotiating a settlement, it helps to have the high number and the low number.

The low number represents the lowest figure you are willing to accept or you’ll file a lawsuit for any offer below this number, while the high number is your ideal settlement amount you’ll take it in a heartbeat if it’s offered.

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Dealing With Your Insurance Provider


In the event of a collision in which you are not considered at fault, you either file your claim with the culpable party’s insurance provider or with your insurer.

The general rule of thumb is to file the claim with the other party’s insurance company for payment for the resultant damages or bodily injuries.

The upside of filing the claim with the culpable party’s provider is that you won’t have to pay a deductible towards the settlement of your claim.

However, some instances call for the intervention of your insurance provider. For example, if the other driver doesn’t have sufficient coverage or the other insurer questions the culpability of their client. Such matters need to be resolved, which may take time.

If the accident left you without a car, you still need a means of getting to important commitments such as school or work. Your insurer can help you with that, depending on the type of coverage you have with them.

Some of the penalties that uninsured drivers stand to face include tickets, fines, suspension of the driving license, car impounds, and possible jail time.

To avoid problems with the authorities, check with your state’s department of insurance for minimum auto liability requirements and comply.

Before making any final decisions on your insurance company, it is important to learn as much as you can about your local insurance providers, and the coverages they offer. Call your local insurance agent to clear up any questions that you might have. Questions to consider asking include, “What is the best coverage plan for me/my family/my situation?” “What are the minimum coverage requirements in my state and what form of coverage do you recommend?” “Do you guys offer any bundle discounts if I take out both my auto insurance and home insurance with you?” and “What is the average rate of insurance quotes you guys offer?”

Before making any big insurance decisions, use our free tool to compare insurance quotes near you. It’s simple, just plug in your zip code and we’ll do the rest!

If they decline unfairly, it’s probably time to switch. Compare quotes from other providers until you find the most appropriate coverage before you make your move. Enter your zip code below to begin comparing.