Filing an auto insurance claim after a covered event can cause frustration. You often don't think about claim filing beforehand, so the process may seem overwhelming if you are not prepared. The good news is that many insurance companies make basic claim filing fairly easy. However, you will need to provide certain information and evidence to back up your claim. Here is more information about what to do after a covered event and basic information about the claim process.

Take Notes as Soon as Possible

After everyone is OK and you can collect your thoughts, take notes about the incident. You may also want to take pictures of the damage and the car at the scene at the time of the incident, if possible. If the incident is an accident with another driver, try to get as much information about that person as possible.

Contact Your Insurance Company

If your incident involved bodily injury or a lot of damage, call your insurance company as soon as possible. In many areas, laws require prompt reporting of major injury or damage incidents. Your insurance company can help you file any legally necessary paperwork.

File a Police Report if Necessary

While not all insured incidents require a police report, you may want to file one under certain circumstances. For example, if your car was hit by a hit-and-run driver who caused serious damage, then you will want a report on record. A police report provides credibility to your claim and a paper trail that could speed up the claims process.

Follow Your Company's Claim Process

Before you file a claim, get a repair estimate. You may find the damage costs are less than your deductible. In that case, you may not need to file a claim. If you want to file a claim, the basic process is you file paperwork and evidence either on paper or electronically. An adjuster determines the amount of your claim if any. You can have your vehicle repaired at any time during the process, provided you have documented all the damage.

Insurance companies differ in how you can submit evidence or get an evaluation by an adjuster. Some companies let you do everything with photos and an app. Others require you to go to their office or someone to come to your home. Your agent or their website will have even more specific information. Be sure to follow up with your auto insurance agent or representative if you haven't heard anything after a reasonable amount of time.