What to Do After a Car Accident
I was in an accident, now what?
Did you know there are more than six million car accidents each year in the United States?
You’re driving down the road, heading to the grocery store, a restaurant or your kid’s ball game ... and just like that ... bam ... you might have an accident resulting in damage to your car ... and possibly injury to you or someone else.
An accident can turn your life upside down. Fortunately, the American Family claims team is here to help you. Our claim specialists are the primary contacts for taking care of your claim, such as your vehicle damage.
Normally the specialist taking your report will address your immediate vehicle needs and let you know when to expect additional contacts from American Family.
Sometimes a specialist will need to perform a personal examination of your vehicle. However, in many cases, American Family will review, directly with the body shop, the damage estimates and photos.
You can choose your own repair shop or use American Family’s Customer Repair Program, with designated repair shops that provide to you a lifetime workmanship warranty. Check with your agent, our claim specialists, or our company website for more information.
American Family will generate a repair plan or conclude that the vehicle is potentially unrepairable. A vehicle’s age, condition and the costs to repair or replace play a part in the decision.
Now let’s talk about terminology regarding vehicle damage to help you to be aware of how the claims settlement is reached.
On a repair estimate, you may see the following part types:
- Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) – These parts are supplied directly from the original manufacturer of your vehicle.
- Reconditioned / Remanufactured – OEM parts that are rebuilt or restored to quality standards.
- Recycled / Salvage – These are OEM parts from a comparable vehicle.
- Aftermarket – These are “new” non-OEM parts, manufactured to meet our standards for a quality repair.
Regardless of which part types are used in your estimate, American Family only uses quality replacement parts.
Another term, this one related to settlement, is Actual Cash Value (ACV) – what your car or personal property is actually worth prior to your accident or claim. A number of factors are used to arrive at the amount including:
- Vehicle options – power windows / doors / locks.
- Interior condition – clean or gently worn carpeting.
- Exterior condition – tire tread depth, absence of door dings or prior damage, and,
- The vehicle’s mileage compared to comparable vehicles.
One of the most familiar insurance terms is deductible. A deductible is a predetermined dollar amount for certain coverages such as Collision and Comprehensive, that you, our customer, agreed to be responsible for before the insurance company begins to pay.
The amount was determined by you and your agent when your policy was issued. Your claims specialist will let you know when a deductible is needed and how it will change your settlement.
The American Family claim specialist will help you with these terms, answer any questions and guide you through the specifics of the repair or the non-repair process. A claim specialist can also help if a rental car is needed and review any costs you may be responsible for.
For car rental questions, please contact our centralized rental department at 1-800-MYAMFAM (1-800-692-6326).
Accidents happen. However, with an auto insurance policy from American Family, you will have our claims team to help you through the claim process.
Contact your agent or go online to find out more about coverage and our claims services.