How to File a Car Accident Claim With Nationwide
If you get into a car accident in Los Angeles, California, you may need to file a car insurance claim with Nationwide to recover compensation for your medical bills and property damage. Whether you need to file a first-party claim with Nationwide as your own insurer or the other driver involved in your wreck is insured by Nationwide, follow these steps to correctly complete the claims process.
Choose One of Three Ways to File
After a car accident, collect basic information about the crash, such as the time, date, location and a description of the vehicles involved. Take photographs while still at the scene, as well. Then, file your insurance claim as soon as possible after your car accident. Waiting too long puts you at risk of missing Nationwide’s deadline and your claim being rejected. There are three basic ways to file a car accident claim with Nationwide:
- Phone. Call (800) 421-3535 to speak to an insurance agent and report your car accident. The agent will ask you basic questions about the crash and give you instructions on how to proceed with a claim.
- Website. Go to Nationwide’s website and click, “File a Claim Now.” Provide basic information about the accident and proof of your damages. Upload photos of your property damage and submit your claim.
- Mobile app. Download the Nationwide mobile app, log in to your account, go to the Claims section, choose an insurance type and click “Start a Claim.” Follow the instructions for completing the claims process.
Once you file a claim, you will be assigned an insurance claims adjuster. This person is responsible for assessing your claim and determining whether you are eligible for benefits. The claims adjuster will ask you questions about your car accident and request proof of your losses. Knowing how to deal with the claims adjuster is a critical part of your insurance claim.
Protect Yourself During the Nationwide Claims Process
Despite its slogan, Nationwide is not on your side. Even if you are a loyal policyholder who has never missed a premium payment, Nationwide’s priority is to protect its profits by diminishing the value of your claim as much as possible. This is why it is important to know what to say and what not to say when dealing with a representative or claims adjuster from Nationwide Insurance. Keep these tips in mind:
- Do not admit fault. Be careful what you say to the claims adjuster. Do not apologize or admit fault for the accident. Keep your answers to questions about the car accident simple and do not offer additional information.
- Say no when asked to give a recorded statement. The recorded statement is a tactic that Nationwide may use to obtain something it can use against you later. Politely decline to give a statement over the phone and submit a written statement instead.
- Do not accept the first settlement offer. Nationwide wants you to say yes to the first offer, which will typically be the lowest. You should always negotiate with a claims adjuster and submit a counteroffer before settling.
- If Nationwide denies or delays your car insurance claim, contact an attorney for assistance. Your lawyer can help you go up against the insurance company in a bad-faith case, if applicable, to hold the company responsible for mishandling your claim.
The most important tip is to always consult with an attorney before settling your Nationwide insurance claim. Do not let an insurance representative convince you that you don’t need a lawyer. Speaking to a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles can allow you to understand your rights and the true value of your claim. An attorney will also handle negotiations with Nationwide for you, fighting for maximum compensation. Your lawyer will give you honest advice and dedicated counsel throughout the claims process.