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Chapter 5


Person with car insurance

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Settling a Claim

The claim is typically settled by the insurance company, but there are times when you may be personally sued by the other party if the insurance company denies a claim. In which case, your insurance may or may not cover a lawyer for you. Normally this is done for major accidents with injuries or major property damage. If you dispute a claim on behalf of yourself, then you'll be able to file an appeal with your insurance company.

Bodily Injury

File a claim for bodily injury when you're at fault for someone else's injuries or if you've had injuries of your own. Typically this may involve writing a letter or making a few phone calls, and producing documentation from a doctor that supports your claim. The amount you receive is based on the type of accident and your exact injury.

Medical Payments

During the claims process, you'll find out how much you'll receive through medical payments and exactly how you'll get the money.

Property Damage

Much like medical payments, these checks will cover the costs of any property damage up to your limits. The claims process will determine how the money will be distributed and whether or not you'll need to pay anything above and beyond.


The term “accident” in the insurance world refers to a crash between you and another car. In contrast, a collision would be if you hit a brick wall where the brick wall walked away without a scratch. With liability insurance, you wouldn't be able to file a claim for assistance, but with collision insurance, your car would be covered and the claim should be a smooth process where you show documentation of damage and then get a check.


Comprehensive claims are easier than liability claims because there's less fighting on the part of the insurance company to determine who should fork over the money. With comprehensive insurance, you have collision coverage along with protection against theft, natural disasters and vandalism. Meaning if a group of clowns decides to attack your car because they can smell your fear, you can file a claim for this and get yourself some money. However, you could not file for this if you have collision insurance only. With comprehensive coverage, you should always file a claim, even if you think an accident is small with seemingly no damage at the time. This is because the other party may come back weeks later with outrageous claims that the accident turned them into a newt (but they got better.)

Uninsured Motorist

A claim with your own insurance company is the best way to get any money out of an uninsured motorist that hits you. Typically, you'll still need to exchange information with the person and then get some sort of statement either directly from them or the police that they, in fact, do not carry auto insurance.

Underinsured Motorist

If the person who hits you has the bare minimum limits for damage and your accident exceeds them, then this is a claim you'd make with your own insurance company to cover the difference. It will take a while before you know this has happened because you (and the other driver most likely) won't be aware of the limits or the extent of the damage at the moment of the crash. A claim will need to be in the middle of being processed before that's determined. At which point, if you have additional insurance, you can file a claim for the additional money you need.