5 Helpful Tips When Filing an Insurance Claim

5 Helpful Tips When Filing an Insurance Claim

We make it our business to be ready, if and when our clients need us the most.  This comes at the time of an insurance claim.  Every insurance company works differently but we have found that there are specific measures every property owner should take when experiencing a claim.  Taking the proper precautions from the start can greatly reduce the time and energy spent by all parties.  Whether you’re talking home or auto, read on to find out what you should do to maneuver through your claim.

  1. Report all claims immediately – the sooner you report an auto or homeowners claim the better.  This is because many claims are time sensitive.  Specific information can be lost when too much time has passed.  Additionally, your memory of the incident can also fade losing access to important details.  The sooner a claim is reported, the more legitimate it looks from the agent and carrier side.
  2. Prevent further damage – when a claim event has taken place, it is important to assess your damage and prevent further damage from occurring.  Many claims agents will tell you to “mitigate damage” which simply means to prevent further loss from occurring in order to minimize your claim.  This is helpful to YOU as the property owner as well as the insurance carrier.  Many companies will reimburse you for your time and material costs (i.e. keep receipts and a time log.) An example of this might be to cover the hole in your roof where a tree fell through if it looks like rain is coming.  Or moving to the side of the road if you’re in an auto accident to prevent additional vehicles from hitting your car.
  3. Be careful what you touch – Don’t remove, discard, try to clean or repair damage on your own.  Let your agent or insurance adjustor worry about that.  After damaged property has been tampered with, it is far more difficult to figure out how and what to cover.  After obtaining a full synopsis of your claim, your agent should be able to direct you as to what your next step is and what direction is safe to pursue.
  4. Information is your friend – even though most people are usually preoccupied when in this type of situation, it is very important to be as observant as possible.  Some specific items to make note of include: time of day, location, weather conditions, bystanders, information on any other vehicles involved, events leading up to the claim, details about your property, etc.  In a vehicle accident, we almost always advise to file a police report.  Police reports are also crucial in ANY instances involving second or third parties, theft, and liability cases.
  5. Remain calm – okay, I know this might sound cliché.  What I really mean is this: besides a medical situation, there is hardly another event in life which causes more stress and anxiety than damage to your most highly priced possessions – your home and autos.  Many people get caught up in the emotions of the moment becoming easily overwhelmed.  We understand this, and our goal is to help our client relax and feel comfortable with the process.  The more at ease you are, the easier a resolution becomes!  Contrary to popular belief, most insurance adjustors DON’T like confrontation and will work with you to find the appropriate coverage, if it exists!  Having a clear and level head will only benefit YOU as the insured person.  Take our advice on this one.

Running through some of these items in your head the next time you find yourself in a hairy situation can seriously benefit you.  Keep your agents number in your car or on your fridge for faster and easier contact.  Ask your agent if they have a smart phone app.  Most importantly, ask questions and educate yourself!

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