Simply put, a claim is a request you make to your provider. Your property has been harmed, you have been hurt, or another event listed in the policy contract that would result in reimbursement has occurred when you file a claim.
Only damage brought on by one of the designated risks mentioned in your policy is eligible for reimbursement.
Your policy protects you from losses or damages and pays you for them. After you’ve covered your portion of the costs, if any, a claim is a request for that money.
For instance, you should file a claim with your auto insurance provider to cover (or reimburse) the costs if you have collision coverage and are involved in an accident with another driver.
A difficult and frustrating task is filing an insurance claim. But it’s not necessary to be.
You can make the procedure go much more smoothly with some planning and information. You can simplify and de-stress the procedure by heeding these ten pieces of advice.
1: Maintain Records of the Damage as soon as you can.
The first step you should take after an accident or a natural disaster that damages your home or place of business is to document the damage.
Although it may seem like a simple step, it is frequently missed in the confusion and stress of the present.
Documentation is crucial for two reasons: first, it will speed up the insurance company’s processing of your claim; second, it will provide you with proof of the damages in the event of a dispute. How do you go about recording the harm, then?
If at all possible, document the damage using photos or videos.
If you’re unable to do that, make a list of every object that has been damaged along with a brief description of the damage.
Consider whether your car’s windshield was broken, a side panel was dented, etc. if a tree had fallen on it. Be as detailed as you can.
The time the damage happened must also be recorded. This can be particularly crucial if you’re making an insurance claim for damage brought on by a storm or tornado.
In these situations, insurance frequently dispatches adjusters to inspect the damage and establish that the incident in question was the source of it.
Last but not least, keep track of all receipts you receive for any repairs or replacements you make before your insurance claim is approved.
This will make it more likely that you’ll get paid back for all of your costs.
Even though recording damage after an accident or a natural disaster may seem difficult, it is crucial.
Making a list of all damaged items, taking photos or videos of the damage, and preserving repair invoices are all essential steps in the claims procedure. To get your claim settled as soon as possible, make sure to complete them as soon as you can.
2: Contact your Insurance company soon as soon as possible
The first step you should take following an accident or a natural disaster is to call your insurance provider.
To begin the claims procedure, you can phone any company’s 24-hour hotline number. You may even start a claim using some of their apps.
Be prepared to provide your insurance provider with some basic details about what occurred when you get in touch with them.
This will facilitate the beginning of the claim processing.
The time and place of the occurrence, a detailed account of what transpired, and the names and contact information of any witnesses should all be included.
It’s critical to get in touch with your insurance provider as soon as a mishap or natural disaster occurs. By doing this, you can guarantee that your claim will be processed quickly and effectively.
3: Get an estimate for Replacement OR Repair
You would need to obtain an estimate for the repairs or replacement if your house or your possessions were harmed in an accident or a natural disaster.
This estimate will be used by the insurance company to calculate how much they will pay you for the damages.
In any case, you must determine how much it will cost to fix or replace your possessions. This is how:
Obtain at least three offers
Obtaining at least three quotes from qualified and insured contractors should be your initial step. Verify that the contractors are aware of what your insurance provider requires.
You’ll avoid a lot of problems in the future by doing this.
Write it Down
Make sure you receive the quote in writing once you’ve selected a contractor.
The written estimate has to contain:
- A breakdown of the tasks to be completed
- The estimated length of time required to execute the task
- The combined price of the supplies and labor
- Name, postal address, and phone number of the contractor
- The estimation’s date
- A line for the date and your signature
4: Gather All your Documents
Making an insurance claim can be difficult. Getting all of the required paperwork together in advance is one of the greatest ways to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
These records will make it more likely that your claim will be handled quickly and efficiently. You’ll need a copy of your insurance policy as your first piece of paper.
This will provide details on the types of coverage you have and any potential restrictions. Make sure you properly study your policy so you know what is and isn’t protected.
In the event that your home is damaged or destroyed, it’s a good idea to keep a copy of your policy in a secure location away from your home, such as in a safety deposit box or at your workplace.
The following document, if appropriate, is a copy of the police report.
You would need to file a police report in order to file an insurance claim if your property was harmed or destroyed during a crime. Get a copy of the report so you have it for your records.
Gather any receipts you may have for the broken or destroyed items. To have a visual record of any damage that occurred, if at all possible, take pictures or videos.
The insurance adjuster you meet with will appreciate seeing these pictures and videos. For any objects that have been damaged or destroyed, you’ll additionally need to present confirmation of ownership.
This can be evidenced by receipts, bank or credit card statements, or other documents proving your purchase of the goods. If you have copies of warranty or appraisal paperwork, you could also be able to offer them.
It will be easier to ensure that your insurance claim is handled swiftly and efficiently if you gather all of these documents before beginning the claims process.
Types of claims in insurance / Insurance Claim Example
- Burglary and Theft
- Water and Freezing Damage
- Wind and Hail Damage
- Slips and Falls by Customers
- Injury and Property Damage
- Product Liability
- Struck by an Object
- Reputational Harm
- Auto Accident
5: Secure your Property to Mitigate Damage
You must take reasonable care of your property, following the insurance company’s requirements.
Therefore, make cautious to protect your property from more harm. Of course, this is not necessary if anything is a total loss.
However, if only a small portion of your property is harmed, make sure to take proactive steps to stop additional harm.
Insurance companies refer to this as “mitigating damage,” which simply refers to minimizing the damage.
6: Keep Track of your Expenses
A provision in your insurance contract known as “loss of use” allows the insurance provider to pay your costs for relocating while your property is being repaired.
Keep in mind, though, that you are only eligible for the difference in expenditures between what you would have incurred had you not been moved.
Your insurance provider will only pay you the additional $1,000 per month, for instance, if your monthly living expenditures are $3000 and you now have to add hotel stays, restaurant meals, laundry costs, and extra gas for your car, totaling an additional $1,000.
7: Keep Paying your Insurance Premiums
When filing insurance claims, many consumers make the mistake of stopping their insurance premium payments. This is a terrible error. Your home, including any pets you may have, is covered by liability insurance.
Therefore, you are covered if Spot destroys your pricey sofa because he is distressed by the chaos and depressed mood of the household. However, the damage brought on by Spot’s puppy aggression won’t be covered if you quit paying your premiums.
Don’t forget to provide your insurance agent with the address of your lodging so they may add it to your liability policy.
In the event that your home suffers a total loss, you can also request that the portion of the policy that covers the construction of your home be reduced in order to lower your rates.
8: It’s not over Until you Declare So
Particularly in cases of widespread tragedy, insurance firms close insurance claims quickly.
The longer your claim is open, the more likely it is that you’ll find something you previously missed. You can easily overlook including a valuable item in your initial insurance claim in the midst of such a demanding and perplexing occasion.
Wait a few months before agreeing to close your claim as a precaution. You do possess this ability.
Insurance providers may attempt to slyly close a claim by including a note on your check.
For instance, the check might state that your claim will be closed upon acceptance of this payment. You are not needed to admit this.
9: Think about utilizing a Public Adjuster
Consider engaging a public adjuster who will speak with the insurance company on your behalf if you are unable to obtain an acceptable settlement after employing your own independent estimator or contractor.
Due to the additional expense—you pay the public adjuster between nine and fifteen percent of what the insurance company finally pays you—some people are reluctant to do this.
But if the adjuster is successful in getting you much more money than you would have otherwise received, it might be worth it.
On the website of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, you can locate a public adjuster.
10: Do not be Concerned about Losing your Insurance Protection.
Many consumers worry that submitting fire insurance claims may result in their homeowners’ insurance company doing similarly, as they are all too aware of automobile insurance companies increasing premiums or totally abandoning drivers.
That is not the situation.
Your premium won’t go up and you won’t lose your coverage as long as you only submit valid claims in the wake of actual disasters, you don’t qualify as a “habitual claimant,” and there isn’t any proof that you committed fraud.
Being as organized as you can is the key to submitting an insurance claim that is successful.
You can reduce stress and increase your chances of receiving the settlement you deserve by paying attention to the ten suggestions we’ve provided in this post.
Never sign anything until you are certain that you understand the terms, and keep thorough records of all your damages and interactions with insurance agents.
Don’t be afraid to ask a lawyer for advice if you have any questions or concerns.
You can make the insurance claim process much easier and less stressful with a little advance preparation.