How to File a Comprehensive Damage Auto Claim With an Insurance Company

by Kristen R. Price
You can file a comprehensive claim for damages caused by vandalism, weather or hitting an object or animal.

No one wants to have to file an auto insurance claim, but there are times in life when it’s unavoidable to do so. That’s why you pay for your insurance policy, after all. To repair damages to your car due to something other than a collision with another vehicle, you’ll need to file a comprehensive claim.

File a Comprehensive Damage Auto Claim

Assess the damage. If your car has been damaged by weather, falling objects, vandalism, a collision with an animal or an inanimate object, or if you have broken glass, your repairs would require comprehensive insurance coverage.

Determine your coverage. If you lease your car or have an outstanding loan on it, chances are you have comprehensive coverage. While state laws require you to carry liability collision coverage, you don’t have to carry comprehensive coverage unless it’s a requirement of your loan or lease.

Get an estimate. Filing any auto insurance claim has the potential to cause a rise in your premium rates. Before you file the claim, take the car to a repair shop (or a few) to get an idea of your out-of-pocket expenses.

Decide whether to file the claim. If your out-of-pocket expense is significant enough, you’ll likely want to file a comprehensive claim. However, if the quote is less than your deductible, or financially feasible for you to cover, you may want to pay for the damages yourself.

Call your insurance company. To actually file the claim, you’ll need to give your insurance company a call. You’ll find a telephone number specifically for claims listed on your insurance card. Alternately, you could call your agent and he could help direct you on the claims process.

Give your insurance company your information. When you file a comprehensive claim, you’ll need to answer a number of questions about the damage to your car, including the cause of the damage, the date it occurred, the people involved, and, if applicable, whether a police report has been filed.

Follow your insurance company’s instructions. Most likely, your insurance company will ask you to get a repair quote or send an adjustor to assess the damage. Once the company receives the quote, it will give you instructions on getting your car repaired. While it might recommend certain repair shops, you have the legal right to go to any repair service you choose.

About the Author

Kristen Radford Price began writing in 2005 for her campus newspaper. She has served as a feature writer for the life-and-style section of the "Daily Herald," a contributor to "Utah Valley Weekly," an editor for a small publishing house and now as director of communications for an Internet company. Radford has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.

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