Understanding the basics is important
Perhaps the first thing that you should do in case your car is damaged in an accident is report it to your insurance company within the time frame as mentioned in your car insurance agreement.

You could also do your best to get as many details of the accident as possible like taking pictures of your damaged vehicles and any injuries sustained. You could also get in touch with the witnesses to the accident who could be a big plus later on to help prove your insurance claim.

Fill up the claim form with all facts mentioning the claim amount you believe your claim is worth.

Support your claim with all related documents including your medical bills if any, the first information report (FIR), if any, in case of accident involving third party injury or damage and the original estimate of repairs obtained from the workshop. This will put you in an advantageous position in case there is an impasse on the claims amount settlement.

The estimation process: Know your rights
After you have submitted your claim and before a claims adjuster or a surveyor from the insurance company who deals exclusively with claims contacts you regarding your claim, the insurance company will look into your policy details to know the extent of its coverage, the deductibles if any and also the coverage limits that may affect your claim. That is whether your car accident policy is the Motor Policy A - Act Only Risk which is also known as third party risk or the more sensible Motor Policy B which is otherwise known as comprehensive insurance policy. It is always a sensible option to go for a comprehensive insurance policy for your car.

Physical assessment
After this initial check on your car policy coverage and depending on the claim amount, the adjuster/surveyor will physically visit the site or visit the accident site, talk to witnesses or refer to the police complaint if any to decide on the claim amount.

Know your rights
Usually many insurance companies have their own in-house adjusters/surveyors to assess the damage and decide on the claim amount, usually for claims below Rs.20, 000. But in some cases the in-house adjuster/surveyor assesses damages worth more than Rs. 20, 000 which is illegal.

When you should negotiate
If your claim is simple that is there is no ambiguity on whose at fault issue, or the damage was negligible, and required only a little or no medical treatment for the passengers, then the adjuster/surveyor may require you give an estimate for repairs, study it and if satisfactory then probably settle the claims fully. But if your claim is complicated that is if the liability is uncertain, or if your car insurance does not have adequate coverage or simply you do not agree with your adjuster's/surveyor's settlement offer, then this is when you should begin negotiations.

Remember, it is always better to keep a written account of the conversations/discussions on the claims dealings with your insurance agent and with adjuster/surveyor and any other people involved in the claims process.

Source - economictimes.com