After an Accident: File Your Auto Claim the Right Way

Published: June 2011

Accidents happen. And if you're involved in one, you'll need to file an auto insurance claim. Even a minor accident can be unsettling, so taking a few minutes now to understand the claims process means fewer problems later when it's time to file your claim.

Man making a insurance claim for his vehicle

After the Accident

Before doing anything else, check the accident scene and confirm that no one was injured. If there are injuries, dial 911 immediately.

Share Info with the Other Driver
Start with your policy number and your insurance company's phone number—you'll find them on the proof-of-insurance card most states require you to carry in your vehicle. Then exchange names, addresses, and phone numbers with the other driver. Remember to write down the other vehicle's make, model, and license plate number, along with the number of passengers and an overview of the damage to each vehicle. Our claim worksheet helps you gather all the info you'll need throughout the claims process—print one to keep in your glovebox.

If you're already an Allstate customer, download Allstate® Mobile for on-the-go accident support, including a built-in accident checklist to help start a claim moments after a collision.

File a Report
Depending on where the accident occurs and the extent of the damage, you may be required to notify law enforcement and fill out an accident report. If you're not sure about the rules where you live, contact your insurance company.

Contact Your Insurer
Once you have all the accident info—and you've filed a police report, if required—contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report your accident and any damages. You have a few options in how to file a claim, click on Report a Claim from the left hand side to file online, click on Report a Claim from your Allstate Mobile app, call your Allstate Agent, or dial 1-800-Allstate. Your insurance company will tell you what documents and information you'll need to file a claim.

The Claims Process

Every insurance company handles the claims process a little differently. At Allstate, we understand that resolving your claim as fast and efficiently as possible is your top priority. With 24/7 claims support, local drive-in centers, and one of the country's largest teams of claims professionals, we're here to make the claims process as easy and convenient as possible.

In fact, we may be able to cut you a check in minutes at one of more than 920 drive-in claims centers.

It's important to understand your repair options before making any decision about where and how to get your car repaired. The following steps, though, will help you understand the ins and outs of the claims process and what you can expect from your insurance company, agent, and adjuster (the professional who investigates your claim and recommends a settlement amount).

Schedule an Inspection
You'll need to get the damaged vehicle inspected to determine the cost of repairs. This usually means visiting an auto body shop (your insurance company may recommend a specific shop or shops in your area) for an estimate of the repair costs, including both parts and labor.

Speak With an Adjuster
Your insurance company's claims adjuster will objectively review all the available information—your vehicle's damage, accident/police reports, witness statements—to help determine fault and then provide a cost estimate.

Get Your Car Ship-Shape Again
As soon as the claim has been filed and coverage has been determined, we can help get you on the path to getting your car repaired. Remember that rental coverage on your policy may pay for all or part of a rental car while your car is getting fixed, so be sure to check your coverage.

Depending on your coverage, damages (minus your deductible, of course) may be covered regardless of who's at fault. If the other driver's at fault, your insurance company will work to recover your deductible amount from the other driver. If you're at fault, your insurance company will handle any claims covered under your policy for damages to the other vehicle you are legally obligated to pay.

Get Up To Date Status on Your Claim
By registering with My Account you can also view your Claim Status. In Claim Status you can register for Direct Deposit, send a message and upload documents to your claim contact, view select claim documents, get payment information, and select an electronic communication preference.

For more info, visit our Guide to the Allstate Claims Process.

If you're already an Allstate customer, you can start your claim online, call us 24/7 at 1-800-ALLSTATE
(1-800-255-7828) or contact your local Allstate agent.

*This information was obtained by the Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority at The availability, qualifications and amounts of these coverages and discounts may vary from state to state. In addition, other terms, conditions and exclusions not described above may apply, and total savings may vary depending on the coverages purchased. In some states, we may offer coverages and discounts that are not listed here. For more information regarding your eligibility for certain coverages and savings opportunities, please contact your Allstate agent.

Get A Quote

Your location is set for:

Ashburn, VA 20147 Edit

Retrieve a saved quote

Agents Near 20147

  • Kristin Mullah
    Kristin Mullah
    44110 Ashbrn Shpg Plz Ste 2
    Ashburn, VA 20147
  • Mo Parsay
    Mo Parsay
    44355 Premier Plz Ste 210
    Ashburn, VA 20147
  • Malan Chakravarthi
    Malan Chakravarthi
    20609 Gordon Park Sq Ste 130
    Ashburn, VA 20147
  • Wendy Moore
    Wendy Moore
    44075 Pipeline Plz Ste 305
    Ashburn, VA 20147
  • Sina Djalili
    Sina Djalili
    42882 Truro Parish Dr Ste 103
    Ashburn, VA 20148
Agent finder map
ECC Monitor: OK