The Five Auto Claims Milestones
Every auto claim filed by one of our customers moves through what we call the five auto claims milestones. Some move quickly,
with only a brief “stopover” at each step; others may take days or weeks. But whatever the time frame, the basic process
is the same.
MILESTONE #1 Assignment
Whether you reported your auto claim to your agent, the Claim Department, or your policy brand phone
line, your auto claim was assigned to a claims professional, who will guide you through the
claims process and work with a team of specialized claim professionals to manage your claim. During that
process, you may work with:Your agent – the professional who sold you your insurance policy, who can answer questions about that
policy and any endorsements, and about your deductible, but will not adjust your claim.
Your claims professional, who will guide you through the claims process – inspecting your vehicle if necessary, determining and investigating covered damages, and helping you better understand
your policy and its endorsements.
A vehicle repair facility, whom you will select to arrange for repairs to your vehicle. (We do not perform repairs, nor do we select or provide a vehicle repair facility
Other specialists, whose services you may need – for example, a structural engineer, repair facility,
medical professional, etc.
MILESTONE #2 Initial Contact
MILESTONE #3 Evaluation
In this phase, your claims professional contacts you about your auto claim. This is when your claims
Obtain initial information about your loss.
Discuss your auto policy coverage and any applicable endorsements.
Explain how your claim will be handled.
Suggest ways to prevent further damage – for example, by putting a tarp over a damaged roof or a broken
vehicle window. (You are responsible for maintaining and protecting your property. If it is damaged, you
must take appropriate action to protect it from further damage until you have it repaired.)
Schedule an in-person appointment, if one is needed to adjust your claim.
If an inspection of vehicle is needed, your claims professional will conduct that inspection to determine whether your loss is covered – gathering all the facts about your loss, investigating and documenting damage or injury, interviewing witnesses or other involved individuals, taking photos and
samples, and formally evaluating your claim.
MILESTONE #4 Resolution
It is our objective to evaluate coverage, complete our estimate if the loss is covered, and deliver a payment
during our first visit. If we can’t, we’ll explain why. And if we do, we stand ready to re-inspect your vehicle and provide a supplemental payment if you, a vendor, or auto repair facility later identifies
additional damages that are covered by your policy.
We’ll work with you to resolve your claim fairly. In many cases, your claims professional will issue a payment
based on the estimate for repairs at the end of the initial inspection. If your claim is complex, it may take a
MILESTONE #5 Claim Closed
Payment for medical bills associated with your auto claim will be made according to the coverage being used under the policy and your
If you have questions about your claim payment, please do not hesitate to contact your claims
professional. And remember – cashing a check does not waive any rights you have under the terms of
If your damages are not covered, in part or in whole, by your policy, we will provide a letter explaining what
damage is not covered and identifying the portion of your policy that applies to that coverage denial.
When we resolve your claim according to the terms of your policy, we close the claim. You still may have some
questions at that point. Once again, check the FAQs in this pamphlet – and if you have a question that we
haven’t answered there, call your claims professional.
Your Auto Repair Estimate
Once your claims professional completes your auto loss estimate, they will review it with you before issuing payment.
The first page includes our contact information and your claim number. That number is the unique identifier for this
claim; we use it to quickly locate your information. The estimate of the cost to repair covered damage is organized by
room, area or item, and includes individual line items that indicate what will need to be repaired or replaced to bring
your vehicle back to its pre-loss condition. It also includes a summary page, with an overview of all items
included in the estimate.
The estimate you receive from your claims professional is just that: an estimate. A number of
issues may contribute to differences between our estimate and your vehicle repair facility’s. If there are
differences, don’t panic: just contact your claims professional, who will probably ask you to send them a copy of the
vehicle repair facility’s estimate for review. They’ll then discuss it with your vehicle repair
service, and may then reinspect your vehicle to resolve any differences.
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