Filing a Claim for Breakdown Insurance
If you have decided to purchase breakdown insurance, the insurance coverage that helps with major repairs, one of your first questions about it might be, “How do I file a claim?” Filing a claim for breakdown insurance is not very different from filing a claim for an accident. But make no mistake: your breakdown insurance doesn’t replace full coverage vehicle insurance. They cover two different sorts of dysfunction in your vehicle.
When to Call Your Agent
You have recently left home for a long trip. As part of your preparation you checked in with your auto mechanic and got all the fluids changed and everything checked. Auto mechanics are very good at finding problems with vehicles, but they are not seers. They have diagnostic machines that check your vehicle but they don’t have crystal balls that predict the future. You have just reached a lonely stretch of road without a vehicle in sight in any direction. To your horror, the needle on the oil indicator suddenly begins to fluctuate wildly and then it drops flat. You know this means that you have no oil pressure – a death knell for any internal combustion engine. You pull over because driving the car any distance has a good chance of completely ruining the motor. You turn off the motor, and as the silence settles in, you hear the pings and pops that indicate a truly overheated engine.
You check your cell phone. Fortunately, it’s charged and has three bars. The first person you need to call is your insurance agent. Call your insurance agent before you seek any other sort of emergency assistance. There’s a good chance that your event is covered under your breakdown insurance.
Why Call Your Agent First
In any sort of insurance claim situation, the earlier you can involve your insurance agent the better. One sadder but wiser vehicle owner quoted his insurance agent as saying, “We could have saved so much trouble if only you had just called us first.” In this instance, the problem was an auto accident, but the same thing holds true for a breakdown claim. When you involve your intake agent immediately, he or she can direct you to a towing service local to you that works with the agency. The agent can also direct you to a repair facility that works with your insurance agency, and possibly even with your vehicle warranty if it’s still under coverage.
Sorting Out Warranty from Insurance Coverage
If your vehicle is still under warranty, as might be the case with newer cars, your agent will help you thread your way through the paperwork that indicates what might be covered under warranty and what will be covered by your breakdown insurance. While there might be some duplication, the coverage for these two things might very well be different. To further complicate your insurance tangle, you might have gap insurance that can pick up the difference between warranty and breakdown insurance. Your agent will work with your selected mechanic to cover the expenses and get you back on the road again.
Two Ways to File a Claim
There are usually two ways to file a claim with any modern insurance company. You can log into your account using your Internet access, or you can simply call the 24-hour hotline for the company. You can either fill in the particulars online from home or you can explain your situation to the agent on duty. You might not always be in the middle of nowhere when you learn that your vehicle needs major repairs, but no matter where you are, involve your insurance agent as soon as possible.