How to File a Car Insurance Claim with State Farm

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The auto insurance claims process varies by company, coverage type, incident type, and other factors, but generally, State Farm makes it easy to file a car insurance claim. You can file your claim with the insurer in several ways — by phone, online, or through its mobile app.

This guide walks you through how to file a State Farm insurance claim after a car accident. We’ll also explain when to file one and what to expect after you file.

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5 Steps to File Your State Farm Car Insurance Claim

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The car insurance claims process can be stressful, but filing a claim doesn’t have to be. Here are five easy steps to file your auto insurance claim with State Farm.

1. Decide how to file your claim

State Farm offers three ways to file an auto insurance claim:

  • By phone: Call 1-800-SF-CLAIM (732-5246).
  • Online portal: Start a claim online even if you aren’t a State Farm policyholder.
  • State Farm mobile app: Download (for Android or iPhone) by texting MOBILE to 78836 or visiting either app store directly.

Although you can report your car accident or motorcycle claim over the phone, filing online or through the mobile app is faster and easier. You can track the status of your claim, find and select a repair shop and rental car, complete a virtual estimate, upload photos and documents, and communicate with your claims adjuster.

2. Share the accident details

When you file the claim, you’ll have to answer questions and provide details about the accident. Be sure the police report, the photos of the accident and property damage, and your insurance policy information are handy. Once State Farm assigns your claims team, they may ask you follow-up questions or for more information.

Be prepared to answer questions and provide details about:

  • The date, time, and location of the accident
  • Details about the accident scene, including injuries and vehicle damage
  • The year, make, model, and license plate numbers of the involved vehicles
  • Contact information for the parties involved, including witnesses

If you or your passengers have injuries and get medical attention, keep all the documents you receive, including receipts and invoices. You can upload them for the claims team online or through the mobile app as you receive them (this can speed up the claims process).

3. Work with the insurance adjuster

State Farm will assign a claims adjuster to investigate your accident claim. The claims adjuster’s job is to:

  • Get a recorded statement from all parties and review the documentation, including photos, video footage, and the police report
  • Determine who’s at fault
  • Assess the vehicle damage and gather an estimate for repairs
  • Review your auto insurance policy to determine which coverages apply
  • Discuss your options for vehicle repairs or the settlement if your car is totaled
  • Set up the repair process or provide a claims payout so you can get the repairs done yourself

4. Get an estimate

The next step is to get an estimate, which you can do in two ways. You can find your own repair shop or use one of State Farm’s Select Service shops for the estimate and repairs.

The benefit of using State Farm’s network is you’ll get a limited lifetime warranty on repairs and a guaranteed completion date. The shop will even pick up your car and drop it off when repairs are complete.

If you prefer to use your own repair shop and your vehicle only has minor external damage, you can use State Farm’s mobile app photo estimate tool instead. The tool will guide you through the process, and you can receive an estimate and claim payment in as little as 48 hours. But this option isn’t available in Rhode Island or Massachusetts.

5. Complete your claim and receive a payout

Once you get the estimate and State Farm approves the repairs, it’s time to fix your vehicle. If you choose a shop within its network, State Farm and the repair shop will handle the process, including paying the shop. You just have to pay your deductible to the shop, if applicable.

If you choose your own shop, you’ll have to drop off your car and pick it up once repairs are complete. State Farm can direct deposit money or mail you a check, but a direct deposit is the fastest way to get your payout.

It takes an average of 30 days to receive claim payouts — but this can vary by claim severity. You can speed up the process by being responsive and providing all the necessary documentation promptly.

If your car is totaled, State Farm will negotiate a settlement based on the vehicle’s value. You’ll complete a State Farm settlement package, including signing over the title, and the insurer will take over ownership of the vehicle.

What to Do After You File an Auto Insurance Claim

Here are some tips on what to do after filing an auto claim with State Farm:

  • Sign up for email and text alerts to get notifications.
  • Track and manage your claim online or through the mobile app.
  • Complete requested tasks online or in the mobile app.
  • Check your policy or insurance card to see your deductible so you’re ready to pay it after the car repair.
  • Keep receipts for medical bills and any out-of-pocket costs you’ve paid, including rental car
  • Contact your lender or leasing company to find out your payout amount if State Farm declares the car totaled.

When to File a Car Insurance Claim

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Not all incidents are worth filing a claim for. Here are a few scenarios when it’s in your best interest to file a car accident claim:

  • When you cause an accident: You should always report an accident if you cause it. Notifying your insurance company to let it know about the accident can make the process easier for the others involved.
  • When someone hits your car: If another driver hits you, get their insurance information so you can file with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Their insurer will cover your bodily injury and property damage expenses.
  • When people get injured: Whether injuries are minor or severe, you should file a claim. If you have personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments (MedPay) coverage, your insurance policy will cover your injuries no matter who’s at fault.

If you have only minor damage or the repair cost is less than your deductible, filing a claim might not be a good idea. Any claim you file can increase your rates, and State Farm will deny a claim if it’s less than your deductible.

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FAQs About Filing a Claim with State Farm

Below, we answered common questions about filing a claim with State Farm to help you understand the claims process better.

Does State Farm have a good reputation for paying claims?

Yes, State Farm has a good reputation for paying claims. J.D. Power ranked State Farm fifth place in its 2023 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. The insurer earned 891 out of 1,000 points, beating the study average of 878 and outranking seven other well-known insurers.

Can you negotiate a car accident settlement?

Yes. You can negotiate, especially if the damage diminishes your car’s value. If you want to counter the insurer’s settlement offer, you’ll need to get an estimate that proves the offer doesn’t cover your losses. You can also appeal by hiring an independent appraiser or an attorney or complaining to your state’s insurance department.

How long do you have to file a car insurance claim?

You should file a car accident claim as soon as possible. But the time limit ranges from one to 10 years, depending on the state and type of claim. The longer you wait, the harder it is for the insurance company to investigate and approve claims. Filing ASAP ensures details are fresh and evidence is intact.

Does filing a claim increase your car insurance rates?

Yes, filing a claim can increase your car insurance rates. The amount depends on several factors, including the insurance company, your claims history, and the type of claim. Discussing your options and the potential effect on your policy with your insurance agent can help you determine whether filing is worth it.

How does fault affect your car insurance claim?

An at-fault collision can increase your insurance rates more than an accident you didn’t cause. Your insurer pays for the other party’s injuries and damage when you’re at fault, plus yours, depending on your coverage. Auto insurance premiums increase by an average of 24% after an at-fault accident, according to data.


  1. J.D. Power, “2023 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study,” Accessed April 13, 2024.

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