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Claims FAQ

Find answers to common questions relating to your auto and property insurance claims

Property refers to homeowners, condo, or renters

Or call 888-WAWA-CLAIM (929-2252) and one of our representatives will get the claims process started for you

Insurance Claim Frequently Asked Questions

Filing an insurance claim can be confusing and stressful, but Wawanesa makes the process easy from beginning to end. This page provides answers to some common auto and property claim questions.

Find out how to report windshield damage, a car accident, or a property claim for your home, condo, or renters insurance policy any time of the day or night — whenever it suits you.

Report your claim online or call 888-WAWA-CLAIM (929-2252) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Filing a Claim

Should I file a claim?

Auto Insurance Claims

If you’re involved in an auto accident or incident, it’s best to tell your insurance company and start the claim process promptly, but especially when:

  • You, your passengers, or others are injured.
  • You cause damage to someone's vehicle or property.
  • You cause damage to a municipality's property.
  • Your, or others’ vehicles are not drivable and/or are at a storage yard.

Property Insurance Claims

Whenever an accident occurs resulting in bodily injury or property damage that will likely exceed your deductible, you should file an insurance claim. Certain types of homeowners, condo, or renters insurance claims may be excluded from the policy, so if you’re unsure whether something is covered, review your insurance policy documents online or call 800-640-2920 and speak with one of our helpful agents who can review your policy. If the damage is caused by an ongoing maintenance issue or a long-term problem that hasn’t been repaired, it may not be covered by the policy.

File Your Claim Online
Should I file my claim online or by phone?

It’s up to you — you have the option to file an insurance claim either online or over the phone by calling 888-WAWA-CLAIM (929-2252). Both methods are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and either will get your claim started right away.

How long do I have to file a claim?

Auto Insurance Claims

When filing an auto claim, you must promptly notify your insurance company of an accident, loss, or lawsuit potentially covered by your insurance policy. It’s a good idea to check your auto insurance policy terms for the specific notice timeframes which apply to your particular auto claim. By waiting too long, the insurance company’s investigation may be substantially jeopardized, which may impact your claim settlement and available coverage.

Property Insurance Claims

For most home, condo, or renters insurance claims, you have one year from the date of the loss to report your claim. It’s a good idea to check your policy terms for the specific notice timeframes which apply to your particular claim. By waiting too long, the insurance company’s investigation may be substantially jeopardized, which may impact your claim settlement and available coverage. In California, if your property claim is a result of a designated State of Emergency, for example, a wildfire, you have two years from the date of loss. However, it’s best to file your claim as soon as possible.

What information do I need when filing a claim?

Auto Insurance Claims

When you file an auto claim, you'll be asked to provide some basic details, such as:

  • Where and when the accident or incident took place
  • Contact information for everyone involved
  • Insurance information for everyone involved
  • Information about the vehicles involved (Year/Make/Model, license plate, VIN #, color, etc.)
  • Description of what happened
  • Other pertinent information if available such as time of day, flow of traffic, information for witnesses, etc.
  • Photos of vehicle damage and/or scene of the accident
  • Names and badge numbers of any officers that responded to the incident
  • A copy of the accident report if there is one

Property (Homeowners, Condo, or Renters) Insurance Claims

When you file a claim for theft or damage that happened at your home, you’ll need to provide:

  • Your policy number
  • The facts of the incident, such as date, time, what happened
  • Any reports from experts or contractors who’ve inspected the damage
  • A copy of the police report if there is one
  • Optional, but a good idea: take pictures of the damage
How long does an insurance claim take?

Auto Insurance Claims

Since each auto claim is unique, the length of time for a claim to be settled can vary a great deal. It all depends on the complexity of the incident or accident and the damage incurred, how extensive the repairs are, and many other factors.

Property Insurance Claims

Claims under your homeowners, condo, or renters insurance can take just a few days to resolve or up to several months depending on the severity of the loss. If your home is rendered uninhabitable due to the damages sustained, the claim could be open until repairs are complete.

Can you file an insurance claim without a police report?

Auto Insurance Claims

For claims involving hit-and-run vehicles, unidentified drivers, vandalism, or theft, a police report must be filed with law enforcement withing twenty-four (24) hours, or as soon as practicable. For other losses, it is not required — but it’s always a good idea to let the police know.

Property Insurance Claims

If you’ve been the victim of theft or burglary, you’ll need to file a police report. Other types of losses, like accidental water or smoke damage do not need to be reported to the police.

Will my insurance go up if I file a claim?

Auto Claims

It depends. Different factors go into determining whether rates increase after an auto accident, including who is at fault and the total amount of damages. So, it may make sense to pay out of pocket it the damages are less than your policy deductible. However, rates do not typically increase for comprehensive losses or losses where the insured driver is found not at fault.

Property Claims

Since most property (homeowners, condo, or renters) insurance offer a discount for being claim-free, your claim history can impact your premium.

Insurance Claim Payments

What are my claim payment options?

Typically, you can have an insurance claim payment deposited directly to your bank account by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or have a check mailed to you. In some cases, we can pay the auto repair facility or rental car agency directly. Your claim representative will be happy to go over the available options with you.

Auto Repairs and Estimates

Can I repair my car before an insurance claim is approved?

Per the policy contract, you have a duty to allow a Wawanesa adjuster to inspect and appraise your vehicle for any damage before you have it repaired or dispose of it. If you do repair your vehicle before an adjuster inspects it, you run the risk of coverage being denied.

Can I choose which auto repair shop I use?

Yes, you can use any auto repair facility you like. Or you can use one of our Preferred Repair Network Facilities, where the repairs are guaranteed for as long as you own the vehicle involved in the claim. Find out more about our claims service guarantee.

How can I get an estimate for the damages to my vehicle?

Your claim representative will work with you to find the most convenient way to get an estimate for your vehicle. For minor auto insurance claims, you may be able to get your estimate by sending us photos of the damage from your mobile device. If this feature is available, you’ll receive an estimate and settlement within a couple of business days.

What if the estimate from my repair shop is different from the one provided by Wawanesa?

If there’s a difference in costs, your Wawanesa appraiser will work directly with your auto repair shop to try to reach an agreed cost of repairs and provide an updated estimate if necessary. If you need to submit an estimate for additional damages, you’ll find instructions on the Wawanesa estimate document.

Auto Claim Deductibles and Coverages

How to get a rental car for an insurance claim?

Rental car coverage is an optional coverage you can add to your policy when you carry comprehensive or collision coverage. You can choose from different limits that will help pay rental car fees while your car is being repaired or replaced as the result of a claim. Learn more about car insurance coverages.

Why do I have to pay my deductible if I’m not at fault for an accident?

Your deductible is separate from determining who’s at fault in an auto accident. You’ll need to pay your deductible before your insurance coverage takes over in a claim to repair your vehicle. But we may be able to recover your deductible from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Does my coverage include legal costs if I’m sued as a result of an auto accident?

Yes. Your Wawanesa policy’s liability coverage provides for costs incurred to settle and defend any potentially covered claim or suit brought against you.

When would my uninsured motorist collision deductible waiver apply?

Once we confirm that the other party is negligent and uninsured, your collision deductible waiver would apply. Your claim representative will explain how your coverage applies to your claim. Please note this only applies to California auto policies.

When would my uninsured motorist property damage coverage apply?

Once we confirm that the other party is negligent and uninsured, your uninsured motorist property damage coverage will apply. Your claim representative will explain how your coverage applies to your claim. Please note this only applies to California auto policies.

Auto Accident Responsibility

What if the at-fault party or their insurance company won’t pay for my auto damages?

As a Wawanesa policyholder, your covered loss will be paid by us. Depending on the auto insurance claim circumstances, we may be able to recover your out-of-pocket expenses from the other at-fault insurance company.

What if I’m found at-fault for an auto accident and I disagree with the decision?

If you dispute your liability, you can ask to have the decision reconsidered. Your Wawanesa policy contract allows us to settle or defend any claim made against you, if appropriate.

I was responsible for causing a car accident. Will my rates go up?

Different factors go into determining whether rates increase after an accident. Please call us at 800-640-2920 so we can review your specific situation.

Do I need to complete an accident report and submit it to the DMV after my car accident?

It depends. Each state has its own requirements based on the extent of damages and injuries that resulted from the car accident.

California: You can submit the Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California (SR-1) form online. To submit a SR1 online, please visit www.dmv.ca.gov.

Oregon: You can file an Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report by downloading the necessary forms online. To download the forms, please visit www.oregon.gov.

Disclaimer

Please note that this website provides only a summary of auto, homeowners, condo, and renters insurance to generally illustrate how insurance works. Your insurance policy is the legal contract containing the terms and limitations of your coverage. Any coverage provided by a Wawanesa General Insurance Company policy is subject to the terms, conditions, exclusions, and endorsements of your insurance policy.