If you've been in a car accident and have a car insurance policy with Allstate, you'll want to contact the company to get the claims process started as soon as possible. This article offers information about what to expect during the Allstate claims process, including some tips on dealing with the Allstate adjuster who handles your claim.
Allstate allows its insured drivers to file a claim online, by phone, or in person with an Allstate agent. Allstate's toll-free phone number for filing claims by phone is 1-800-ALLSTATE, or 1-800-255-7828, and claims may be filed by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may also file a claim by visiting Allstate's website,www.allstate.com, or by visiting an Allstate auto insurance agent. All three processes allow you to get your basic questions answered and learn what you can do to move the claims process along.
Because an auto insurance claim can involve a great deal of information, Allstate provides an insurance claim worksheet on its website. The worksheet is not required, but it can help you organize information such as your claim number, the contact information of other people involved in the accident, and the names and phone numbers of the Allstate adjuster or other representatives you speak to during the claims process. It also provides space to write down the location of your repair shop and information about your rental car, if your policy provides for rentals.
When you first file a claim with Allstate, the adjuster will want to know whether anybody was hurt in the accident. If so, the adjuster will ask for information about any medical treatment for the injuries. They may ask for contact information for the physicians or hospitals who treated you or someone else who was hurt in the accident.
Next, the adjuster will likely ask you what happened in the accident. After a crash, it's normal to feel shaken up and confused, especially if you've been injured. Answer the adjuster's questions as well as you can, but don't feel pressured to guess or make up details. Instead, if you don't know or don't remember the information the adjuster asks for, say “I don't know” or “I don't remember.” You can always contact Allstate again if you remember a detail later that you couldn't recall when you first talked to the adjuster. Some Allstate policies provide coverage regardless of who was at fault. If you were clearly not at fault, however, the adjuster may attempt to recover your deductible amount from the at-fault party. If another person involved in the accident claims you were at fault, Allstate will handle any damages claims that you are legally liable to pay, according to the terms of your policy.
In addition to asking about injuries, Allstate's adjuster will also want to know the location of your damaged vehicle is. If you call from the accident scene and your vehicle cannot be driven dafely, the adjuster will help you arrange to have the vehicle towed. You may have the vehicle towed to a repair shop of your choice, or you can choose one of the repair shops in your area recommended by Allstate's Good Hands Repair Network.
When you first file your claim, you can also schedule an estimate with the adjuster, who will want to send someone out to inspect the vehicle in person. If your vehicle cannot be moved, Allstate will send an adjuster to the vehicle's location; if you can drive the vehicle, Allstate may ask you to drive into one of its Drive-In Centers for inspection. Once the estimate is finished, the adjuster will discuss your repair options with you and provide an offer to cover the amount of your vehicle damage, or a payment of your vehicle's actual cash value if your car is deemed a "total loss." For everything you need to know about getting your vehicle fixed and compensation for property damage, check out Vehicle Damage After a Car Accident.
If you or someone else suffered an injury in the car accident, the claims process will take longer and get a little more complicated. Your vehicle damage claim will likely be handled separately from your personal injury claim (and will probably even be handled by a different Allstate adjuster). To learn more about negotiation and settlement of an injury claim after a car accident -- including how to value a claim -- check out Car Accident Settlements.