Don't have an account?
Start here.

Demystifying Insurance: Understanding the Auto Claims Process

Man on phone in front of accident

So you get into a car accident and now you need to file a car insurance claim. It’s often overwhelming. Where should you even start? We’re here to tell you how.

When Should You File a Claim?

How do you know if it’s the right time to file a claim? Any time you’re in a car collision you should contact your insurance company immediately. Other times it is appropriate to file a claim is if your car is vandalized, stolen or damaged from a non-accident-related event such as severe weather. Your insurance card should contain your insurance company’s phone number, or you can find it online.

Your ability to file a claim for car repairs in these instances depends on the cause of damage and the coverages that you have. The types of coverage that pay for damage to your car are:

  • Collision coverage: pays for damage to your vehicle after a collision
  • Comprehensive coverage: covers damages to your car occurring from several types of events including fire, theft, vandalism and flood – check your policy for details.
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist property damage coverage: gets you reimbursement if you are in an accident and the driver that hits you does not have insurance or has too little insurance
  • Gap insurance coverage: covers the difference between the actual cash value of your car and your loan/lease amount if you have a car loan or are leasing your car, and it is declared a total loss
  • Windshield or glass coverage: replaces or repairs a windshield, mirror or window that is damaged in an incident other than a collision

Information You’ll Need

When you get in touch with your insurance company, be sure to provide the following information in order to file a claim:

  • Your full name and policy number
  • Date and time of the incident
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of all drivers, passengers and witnesses involved is not required to report a loss but is good to have.
  • Driver’s license and license plate numbers for all vehicles involved is not required to report a loss but is good to have.

A helpful tip to remember is to take as many photos as needed of the damage. Take them from different angles and take them at the scene of the incident.

What Happens Once you File the Claim?

Plymouth Rock’s goal is to resolve your claim in a fair and timely manner. Following your claim submission, you can expect the following steps.

Assignment of the Claim

You will be assigned a personal representative to walk you through your policy coverage and answer any questions you may have about the claim process.

Inspection of Damages

If your vehicle has damage and the applicable coverage applies, you will be offered convenient options to get your car back on the road as soon as possible. Plymouth Rock’s Crashbusters® vans can meet you at a time and place of your choosing, and in many cases, issue a payment on the spot.

If you prefer that we manage the repair process for you, our Door to Door Valet Claim Service® will transport your damaged car to and from a repair shop and arrange for your rental car if you have the appropriate coverage.


Register your policy online to keep track of the status of your claim along the way. Once your case is resolved, it will be closed.