What to Expect During the Auto Insurance Claims Process

We answer frequently asked questions about the NEA Auto & Home Insurance Program claims process.

by NEA Member Benefits

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Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the auto claims process when you participate in the NEA Auto & Home Insurance Program, provided by California Casualty.

Who will handle my claim?

When you call to report your loss, a claims representative will ask questions about your claim and may take your recorded statement. You’ll be given a claim number and the name of the adjuster assigned to your claim.

The claims representative will help you get the repairs started on your vehicle. In some cases, a material damage appraiser may contact you to inspect the damage and complete a repair estimate. 

When can I call to report my claim?

You may report your claim 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you call outside of our regular business hours, you’ll be directed to an after-hours reporting service. This service will take basic information regarding your loss and will provide that information to California Casualty. Then, someone from our claims staff will contact you on the next business day. 

What forms will I need to complete?

If claims forms are required for your specific claim, a packet of forms and instructions will be mailed to you the next business day. Please complete those forms to the best of your ability and return them to us in the envelope provided.

Where do I get my car fixed?

You can choose any repair facility, and it’s up to you to decide whether the repair shop you select is qualified to repair your vehicle to industry standards. If you would like help in choosing a repair shop, ask your adjuster for the names of repair facilities convenient to you. We can recommend shops from our Guaranteed Repair Network.

If your car is safe enough to drive, you may be asked to get a repair estimate from a body shop or vendor. Before authorizing any repairs to your vehicle, please submit that repair estimate to your adjuster for approval.

On larger losses, an appraiser may be assigned to inspect your vehicle, usually within two working days of knowing where your vehicle is located.

Who will pay for the repairs to my car?

When you sign a repair authorization, we pay the body shops or vendor directly after the repairs are done. You’ll be responsible for payment of your deductible and any depreciation directly to the repair shop when the repairs are complete.

How long will the repairs take? 

That depends on the amount of damage, availability of parts and the body shop’s workload. 

What if my vehicle was stolen or is considered a total loss?

We’ll determine your vehicle’s value by using a market survey of vehicles in your area of similar year, model, equipment and condition. A total loss adjuster will contact you to explain your settlement. A check will be issued after we receive all properly completed total-loss paperwork. 

On total thefts, we will reimburse you a minimum of $20 per day for alternative transportation. If you’ve added higher Transportation Expense coverage to your policy, then those limits will apply. 

What if I’m at fault?

If you’re found at fault for a collision and another person sustains bodily injury or property damage as a result, your adjuster will handle any third-party claims. 

If you’re contacted by an injured party or their representative, please refer them to your assigned adjuster. Your adjuster will determine the appropriate amount of damages and attempt to settle the other party’s claim. We typically won’t discuss third-party payments with you. If a lawsuit is filed, we’ll contact you with further instructions. 

What if I’m injured?

If you’re injured in an automobile accident and have coverage for those injuries, your claim will be assigned to a medical claim specialist. We will send further instructions regarding your injury claim by mail. 

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