FAQs: Car Insurance Claims at Elephant
We hope you’re okay and we’re here to help you get back on the road.
After an accident, it’s best to file your car insurance claim as soon as possible, while the details are still fresh in your mind. Once you have reported your claim, we can get to work on setting things up right away. We know that getting into an accident is stressful, but we’ll make sure to get started on your claim as soon as it’s filed.
What should I do after an accident?
- Stay calm and make sure everyone is in a safe place
- Turn on your hazard lights if you can
- Move your vehicle out of the way of traffic and into a safe area
- Get medical help if anyone is injured
- Call the police even if the accident is minor
- Discuss the accident with the police only
- Do not admit fault to anyone
- Gather information. Get the names, addresses, phone numbers, and auto insurance information of all parties involved. Be sure to get contact information from witnesses
- If you have a camera with you, take photos to document vehicle damage, the accident scene, skid marks, and any other features of the accident scene
- Report the incident to Elephant as soon as possible by calling 844-937-5353 or by using our online form
- Take reasonable steps to protect your vehicle from further damage
What can I use my Roadside Assistance for?
If you purchased Roadside Assistance with your policy you can call the number listed on your Roadside Assistance card at any time and a trained customer service representative will dispatch a roadside service professional to help you with the any following:
- Tow of your disabled vehicle
- Flat tire change
- Battery jump start
- Emergency fuel delivery
- Locksmith services
I’ve been in an accident, how do I file a claim?
There are two ways to file a claim:
- You can file a claim online 24-7 using our online form
- You can give us a call during our business hours* by dialing 844-937-5353
When reporting a car insurance claim, it’ll help to have the following information handy:
- The date and location of the incident
- Your Elephant Insurance policy number
- The other party’s insurance information and phone number
- A general description of what happened
- The name of the police department involved and the police report number
How do I file a glass-only or windshield claim?
Elephant has designed an Express Glass Service to help you immediately resolve any windshield or glass-only claims. Simply go online or call 844-937-5353 to report a windshield or glass-only claim. A trained claims specialist will schedule an appointment to have the damages repaired or parts replaced.
Many windshield claims can be repaired. If you have the applicable coverage, and the damage to your windshield can be repaired, Elephant will not charge you your deductible.
You have the choice as to which glass repair shop does the work on your vehicle. If you do not have a repair facility in mind, Elephant has created a network of glass repair shops to assist you in getting your car repaired as quickly as possible.
Will filing a claim affect my premium?
During the twelve months your policy is in force, your rate will not increase due to any claims filed. When your policy is up for renewal, we will assess your current rating factors and let you know what your new rate will be prior to the renewal date. Your rate may go up or down, depending on the many factors we use to calculate your premium.
Some of these factors include:
- Discount eligibility
- Your driving record
- The number of claims you have made in the past three years
- The number of “at fault” claims you have made in the past three years
- The extent of any damages which were covered
I’ve filed my claim, what are my next steps?
We understand the stress and inconvenience of having to file a claim. Our process is designed to be hassle-free so that you can get back to your normal routine as soon as possible.
You should first report all claims as soon as possible to Elephant by using the online claims service or by calling 844-937-5353. A claims representative will collect the necessary information needed to get the claim started. This process should take approximately 15-20 minutes.
Next, a claims specialist qualified to handle your specific needs will be assigned to your claim so they can get started right away at processing it.
Some of the steps your claims specialist will commonly follow to make sure we get all the facts about the incident include:
- Review your insurance policy and the coverage in effect to determine what types of damage or injuries are covered
- Attempt to speak with everyone involved in the incident – drivers, passengers, witnesses – to get everyone’s account of the incident
- Conduct a detailed interview with each person involved if there are conflicting versions of what happened in the incident
- Gathers and reviews other relevant information such as the police report, applicable state and local traffic laws, photos of the scene and the vehicles involved and other available information
If your vehicle is damaged, your claim specialist will assist you in the repair process, including offering you a qualified shop in our Repair Assistance Program if you do not already have a repair shop in mind. Your claim specialist will be with you every step of the way to explain the process and answer any questions you may have.
How quickly will my claim be processed?
Since every claim situation is unique, the time needed to process a car insurance claim can often vary. A more complex claim can sometimes require more time, but a simple claim can often be resolved in just a few short days.
Our claims team will make sure to keep you in the loop every step of the way, so you aren’t unsure about the status of your claim at any time.
Will Elephant pay for a rental car after I file my claim?
Just because your car is in the shop doesn’t mean your life should be put on hold. Unfortunately, depending on what type of claim you filed, you might be without your car for some time. If your policy has Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage on it, you’ll have access to a rental car if you need one.
Make sure to check with your claims adjuster to see what type of rental car you’ll have access to and for how long since it’ll depend on what type of rental coverage you purchased on your policy.
How is my damage going to be reviewed and repaired?
After you file the claim, your car’s damage must be reviewed before it can repaired. There are a few ways this can be done:
Elephant Approved Guaranteed Repair Program: Choose a shop in our network for 100% guaranteed repairs for as long as you own your car. You can even search for a repair shop so you can pick a shop that is close to you.
To make your claims experience as hassle-free as possible, Elephant has created an Approved Repair Program. This is offered as a free option to customers who have not chosen a repair shop or do not know where they want their vehicle repaired. The repair facilities in this program have been pre-qualified to ensure they are properly equipped and that their repair quality and standards are exceptional. Using this service brings the following benefits:
- Convenient locations nationwide
- Exceptional customer service
- Continuous status updates while your vehicle is being repaired
- Quality repairs that are done quickly
- Limited Lifetime Guarantee
Photo Estimates: If your car is drivable, you can use our easy to use PhotoApp to send us photos of the damage and get an estimate.
Repair facility of your choice: The choice of who repairs your vehicle is always up to you. Elephant will work with your repair facility of choice to help get you back on the road as soon as possible.
What is the repair process if my vehicle is non-drivable?
- Depending on where your car is stored, you’ll want to make sure your vehicle is not sitting at a facility that is charging a daily storage fee. If you think your car is getting charged a daily storage fee, please contact Elephant immediately
- A copy of your Elephant Insurance estimate to repair must be provided to your repair facility.
- Your repair facility should order all needed parts as soon as possible. Once this is done, your repairs should be scheduled as soon as possible based on when all needed parts will be at the shop.
What if more damage is found after the facility starts repairs?
A vehicle involved in an accident can sometimes have damage that is not visible at first. Any adjustments made to the initial estimate are called “supplements.”
If additional damage is found while repairing your vehicle, the repair facility will contact Elephant to complete a supplemental estimate. From there, your Elephant claims adjuster will keep in contact with you to let you know what the next steps are.
If I have Rental Reimbursement on my policy, how long will I have a rental?
- The policy limit for Rental Reimbursement, if you elect this coverage, is the maximum Elephant Insurance could pay for any singular incident.
- About 4 hours of repair work per day is fairly common in the collision repair industry. So, if your repair estimate includes a total of 16 labor hours, then repairs to your vehicle should be completed in no more than 4 days.
- Additional repair (and rental) days may be warranted if your vehicle is non-drivable. These may include, but are not limited to, days for the vehicle to be inspected, parts to be ordered at the repair facility and if additional damages are found once the repairs are underway.
What kind of parts will be used to repair my vehicle?
- Depending on the age and mileage of your vehicle, as well as parts availability, Elephant Insurance may use OEM, Optional OEM, Recycled, Reconditioned, Re-manufactured and Aftermarket parts to restore your vehicle to its pre-loss condition.
- You and your repair facility should be aware of this upfront.
- If an alternative part chosen by Elephant Insurance fails to adequately repair your vehicle, then we will gladly revisit this as long as the issue is well documented on the shop’s end.
What if there is a discrepancy in what the repair facility is charging and what Elephant is paying?
- Every appraisal resource used by Elephant Insurance attempts to reach agreed prices with all repair facilities based on what is fair and reasonable within a specific geographic area.
- In most cases any discrepancies in cost are resolved and this is a non-issue. However, there may be times where what your shop of choice (non-Elephant Approved Repair Program) is charging does not align with what is fair and reasonable for the area and applicable repairs to your vehicle. In these cases, you will be notified, in writing, via our Reasonable and Customary letter. We will make every attempt to prevent this, but you may encounter some out of pocket expense if we cannot reach an amicable repair cost with your shop of choice.
What makes a vehicle a total loss?
- Financial: The cost of repairs, rental, salvage value and other considerations are close to or exceed the value of the vehicle.
- Safety: While the cost of repairs may not exceed the value of the vehicle, will the vehicle be restored to pre-accident condition?
- State regulations: Every state has regulations which indicate a threshold at which an insurance company must deem a vehicle a total loss.
What are the steps in the total loss process?
- Typically Elephant will obtain your total loss vehicle. It will be moved to our storage facility for safe, secure, and fee free storage until the claim is paid. If you plan to retain your total loss, this step can be skipped.
- Elephant will need documents (title, power of attorney form properly completed and signed by the appropriate owner/owners, other miscellaneous documents) from you.
- Elephant will contact your loan provider (if applicable) for a Letter of Guarantee. Most lienholders take 1-4 weeks to send us this document.
Will my total loss settlement pay off my loan?
Possibly. The total loss settlement is the value of your vehicle plus any applicable taxes, less any applicable deductions. GAP coverage will help with situations where your loan balance is higher than the value of your vehicle. Contact your financial institution to see if you have that coverage.
What does Loan Lease Payoff (GAP) Coverage do?
If you purchased GAP coverage with Elephant:
- Your total loss adjuster will need to obtain your payment history of the loan, a copy of the bill of sale, and financial agreement from when you purchased the vehicle
- In most states there is a 25% cap on loan lease (this is 25% of the adjusted actual cash value from your total loss settlement)
- There are several exclusions that aren’t covered by your loan lease coverage:
- Your deductible
- Damage not related to the loss
- Excessive mileage deduction
- Cost of service contracts or warranties
- GAP coverage purchased from the dealership or your lienholder
- Late fees, missed payments, payment holidays, etc.
Will I be able to retain my total loss?
Possibly. First, we must consider your state’s laws, as some states will not allow you to keep a total loss vehicle. If you have a lien, then you will need to speak with your loan provider to see if they will allow you to retain the total loss.
How is the value of my vehicle determined?
Elephant uses a market evaluation, considering factors such as year, make, model, mileage, overall condition and major options. Your vehicle is also compared to vehicles that have sold or are for sale in your local market. Based on those findings, the value of your vehicle will be determined.
Now that my vehicle is a total loss, how long will I have my rental vehicle?
As a customer, your policy provides you 3 additional days once you are contacted and a settlement amount is communicated.
How will my claim get paid?
If a payment is applicable to your situation, we have the following options:
- In most cases, we recommend you let us pay the repair shop directly. We’ll pay the shop the entire cost except for your policy deductible, which you are responsible for paying to the shop.
- We can also send payment to your bank account or by mail. In some instances, we will need to pay payments to you and your lienholder.
Any payments made are subject to terms and conditions of your policy.
We aim to have a transparent and easy claims process for our customers. If you ever have questions about the status of your claim, you can call your adjuster directly, or speak to one of our claims representatives by calling 844-937-5353.