The definition of a claim is when an insured party asks the insurer to pay out for an eventuality that is covered by their auto (or other) insurance. This involves following a procedure set down by the insurer for proper notification regarding a claim.
What is the process for making a claim?
This procedure can differ from insurer to insurer and it is a good idea for you to check your insurance contract to determine exactly what this procedure will be in your case.
In general terms you will be expected to have met all your legal obligations in terms of reporting an accident, and followed all local/state regulations in respect of this.
You will also be expected to supply, where practical, the details of any other parties affected by the claim as well as details of the accident itself and how you perceive the events of the accident.
How is a claim dealt with by an insurer?
The insurer will normally appoint a claims adjuster in the event that you make a claim, this professional will be responsible for assessing both the accident and the veracity of the claim (and any claims made by other parties). They will make a recommendation regarding how the claim is settled to the insurer who may act on this recommendation or seek alternative recommendations.
What is the maximum I can claim on my insurance?
The claim limit will be defined in your insurance policy, it may be defined on a per-claim basis and/or a per policy basis, if there is no per-claim definition supplied in your policy the per-policy limit will apply.
If you are worried that your per claim limit does not provide adequate coverage you should contact your auto insurance provider to discuss means to raise the limit, which can often be done for a small additional fee.
Is it possible for a claim to be refused?
Yes, if you make a claim which does not fall under the coverage of your policy your claim may be refused by your insurer. You should ensure that you understand your insurance contract and any benefits that it may provide.
Also if you exceed a per-claim or per-policy limit, your insurer will refuse to pay any additional amount over this limit. In this instance you will be liable for paying the difference to make up the balance of the claim again if you are concerned that your limit is too low, you should discuss your options with your auto insurance provider.