In the event of a motor vehicle accident, you’ll want to begin the insurance claims process by contacting your agent via phone or online. Once the wheels are in motion, it’s critical that you’re careful of every step you take, as a single mistake can sink your claim.

Before discussing some of the most common mistakes, here’s something that will guide every decision you make: Your insurance agent is not working in your best interest.

Even if you have a long-standing relationship and you trust your agent to do the right thing, they’ll always make decisions that benefit their business.

With that in mind, here are some car insurance claim mistakes to prevent: 

  • Neglecting to review your policy: Don’t let your agent tell you what your policy does and doesn’t cover. Review it yourself to ensure that you fight for all the compensation you deserve.
  • Saying too much: Your insurance agent may push for you to say more, but don’t go down this path. Stick to the basics and turn down any questions that you don’t understand. You are not required to provide your insurance company with a written or recorded statement until you’re comfortable doing so.
  • Accepting a check for final payment: Imagine receiving a check by mail from your insurance company. Maybe you didn’t even know it was coming. At first, you’re excited to see that they’re working to make things right. Then you realize that it’s marked as final payment. If you cash the check, you may be giving away some of your legal rights.
  • Poor recordkeeping: It’s not always easy to keep good records after a serious accident, but you should do whatever it takes to remain organized. In addition to photos of the accident scene and your injuries, keep records of all conversations with your insurance company, medical bills and receipts for expenses related to the accident.

Ideally, you’d be able to trust your insurance agent to walk you through the process and do the right thing by you. Unfortunately, this isn’t how the system works. You’re the only person you should trust to protect your legal rights.