Though American Family Insurance offers a wide range of insurance products today, this provider still focuses on the business model that helped its early success in the early 1900s: selling auto insurance. The company currently serves 19 states through numerous subsidiary organizations, and four regional corporate headquarters – including one in Columbus, Ohio. According to the Insurance Information Institute, American Family Insurance consistently ranks on the list of top 10 insurers of private passenger vehicles. However, problems with the company also put it high on the list of consumer complaints.
With conduct ranging from stalling to outright bad faith, insurance companies may deprive claimants of their legal rights in the interests of protecting their profits. At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, our Ohio insurance claims lawyers are dedicated to confirming insurers uphold their end of the bargain.
To schedule a free consultation of your case, during which you will learn more about how American Family Insurance auto accident claims work, contact us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW.
The History of American Family Insurance
Since its founding in 1927, American Family Insurance’s target audience for their auto insurance business was farmers. Because they mainly drove in a rural setting and rarely in the winter, those in the agricultural industry didn’t carry the same risks as motorists in larger metropolitan areas. The company adhered to this usage-based approach to insurance coverage through the years, eventually developing a program dubbed “My Safety Valet,” which rewarded drivers for responsible habits.
The American Family Insurance Auto Accident Claims Process
Depending on if you’re hurt, there are certain steps you should take when you’ve been in a motor vehicle collision. If you plan to file a claim with American Family Insurance, make sure to:
Contact Law Enforcement
Call 911 if you’re physically able, or phone a non-emergency number if appropriate. Having an official account of the accident may be crucial in making a claim later.
Exchange Information with Other Motorists
No matter who is alleged to be at fault, make sure to get the contact details from any driver involved in the accident.
Call Your Insurance Company
You should start by contacting your own insurance company. From there, you’ll need to determine how to file a claim.
Take Notes and Photos
Your capabilities in capturing information will vary depending on your injuries, but you should do all you can to document the scene after an accident. Talk to witnesses, grab your phone, and jot down any notes about your recollection of events.
How Insurers Compensate Claims for Damages
An auto insurance company will need documentation and support when you file any type of claim as a first or third party. The claims adjuster is tasked with reviewing your paperwork regarding two categories of damages:
Property Damage Claims
When you’re seeking compensation for damage to your vehicle, the insurer will start by requesting that you get an estimate for repairs. Some companies will demand that you go to certain mechanics that are on their approved list. Alternatively, you may be forced to pay the difference in cost if the quote from your own repair shop is too high.
Additionally, an insurance company representative may conduct an investigation to determine whether the repairs are due to an accident or some other cause. It is at this point of the process that the photos and witness testimony you noted at the scene will come in handy.
If you were hurt in an accident, an adjuster will also require documentation to substantiate your claim for damages. You’ll need to provide medical records demonstrating that the treatment you received was necessary for the injuries you suffered. If you’re claiming lost wages, be prepared to show the paystubs related to the time you were off work.
American Family Insurance auto accident claims related to non-economic damages like pain and suffering are more difficult to ascertain, because different insurers and representatives from insurance companies will view your situation differently.
This type of systematic approach doesn’t give an accurate view of the big picture, which is why it’s critical to work with an attorney that understands your specific circumstances.
Get Legal Help with American Family Insurance Auto Accident Claims
Regardless of whether you’re filing a claim as someone insured by American Family Insurance, or are seeking compensation as a third party, you may run into challenges with the process. American Family Insurance and other companies often throw up roadblocks when it comes to claims, but don’t be discouraged. An attorney can help protect your right to compensation, and an Ohio insurance bad faith lawyer from Kisling, Nestico & Redick will act if an insurer’s tactics violate the law.
For more information, call 1-800-HURT-NOW, or go online to schedule a free case consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.