Auto Insurance Claims Process
What Do You Have to Tell Your Auto Insurance Company?
Sometimes it can seem like your auto insurance company asks a lot of questions. Whether on your application, in your notice of claim, or during discovery, there is some information you are required to provide. Find out what you have to tell your auto insurance company at each stage of the game.
What to Tell Your Auto Insurance Company on the Policy Application
When you sign up for a Michigan no-fault auto insurance policy, the application will ask you to disclose a fair amount of personal information. Some benefits you, other information helps the insurer, but it is all required.
For example, your auto insurance application will likely ask you to name every driver to be included on the policy. It may be tempting to skip your 16-year-old new driver to save some money. But doing so could mean that when your teen gets into an accident he or she will not be covered as a “named insured.”
Most policy applications will also ask you to disclose every vehicle-related conviction on your record – including everything from drunk driving to minor traffic citations. The cost of your insurance will depend in part on the number of points on your record, so it may be tempting to “forget” a couple. But doing so could allow your insurance company to void your entire policy after an accident. Be thorough and truthful to protect you and your family later on.
What Should Be Included in Your Notice of Claim
Your no-fault insurance is designed to kick in after an injury accident. But you won’t get paid unless you let the insurance company know what happened. Most auto insurance policies require you to complete a Notice of Claim or Application for Benefits within days of the accident. That is why it is so important to get an auto accident attorney involved right away. Your notice of claim should include:
- The injured person’s name and address;
- The time, date, and place of the injury; and
- What kind of injuries were sustained.
It is important to include every injury, no matter how small it may appear at the time. Some injuries, particularly to the brain or spine, can develop in the weeks and months following an accident. If you don’t disclose that initial minor concussion, it could make it more difficult to fight for brain injury benefits later on.
What Will Be Disclosed in Discovery
During a lawsuit, each side has the right to gather information about the claims. In an auto accident case, this includes your medical history, deposition, and physical examination. This can seem overly personal. However, if you refuse to comply with these discovery requests, it could cause your case to be dismissed.
It can be tempting to try to withhold information from your attorney or your insurance company. It might get you a better rate or make you look better in the short term. However, omitting information from your application, notice of claims, or discovery, could hurt your chances at court.