Filing an insurance claim can be stressful, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. However, knowing how to properly file an insurance claim can mean the difference between your claim being approved or denied. Read on to find out six things you can expect when filing a claim, as well as how you can ensure your claim is handled quickly. Remember, the sooner you file your claim, the sooner you will receive your money and be able to make any necessary repairs or replacements.
6 things to expect when filing an insurance claim
Calling your insurance company will initiate the claims process. Here are six things you can expect after initiating your claim.
1. A call from a claims adjuster: Your insurance company will assess your claim and assign you a claims adjuster, often known as a claims specialist. The claims adjuster will assess the damage and compensate you according to the terms of your insurance policy. They will process your claim on behalf of the insurance company.
The adjuster may request to meet in person to examine the damage and arrange for any necessary repairs. Find out how your policy handles repairs, injuries and medical expenses. If there’s anything you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask your adjuster questions.
2. A request to provide photos or a video of the damage: Take photos and videos of the damage to your property and what was inside. For example, a flood in your house destroyed your furniture. Before a disaster, taking photos or videos of your property can help you establish a benchmark. Photos or videos of the damage after the incident are also useful when reporting a claim, as they can help the insurance company assess the severity of the damage you have suffered.
3. Negotiations with an insurance adjuster: Ideally, your adjuster will give you a reasonable offer. However, this is not always the case. If you think the settlement provided is too low, you can negotiate or ask the adjuster to show you how they arrived at this figure. This process provides you with valuable information to avoid low claims payments. In addition, an estimate from an independent contractor can help you argue your case when you dispute the adjuster’s damage estimate.
4. A waiting period: Although insurance covers the cost of replacing or repairing damaged property, it is also essential that this action occurs as soon as possible. It is not pleasant for anyone to have to spend weeks without a car or to be uprooted from their homes for months.
The insurance company has a specified number of days to let you know whether or not they accept the claim, depending on your state’s requirements. However, whether you have a damaged roof or a car that needs repair, the wait can seem long.
If you are unsure how long your insurance company should respond to your claim, call your state’s Department of Insurance.
5. Temporary move: If an adjuster finds your home unlivable, your home insurance policy usually covers additional living expenses such as rent, food, pet board, utilities, and transportation.
Living expenses should be fair given your current lifestyle. For example, owning a modest property and living alone means you can’t expect to have temporary accommodations in a multi-bedroom penthouse suite. Likewise, don’t pack your big family into a tiny motel room. Temporary accommodation should provide comfortable accommodation for the time it will take for repairs to be completed.
6. Payment and completion of repairs: The ultimate goal of the claims process is to get your money and your repairs. Although adjusters can often issue you a check on the spot, the money can be paid to the repair shop or contractor, depending on your insurance company’s claims process. If you choose a store recommended by your supplier, they can pay the store directly. A home repair contractor may ask you to sign a legal document asking the insurance company to pay the contractor in rare situations. But don’t do this without consulting your insurer first.
Is filing an insurance claim worth it?
You have to decide whether a claim is worth it or not. Keep in mind the following.
A claim with your insurance company is pointless if the property damage is less than your deductible. In this situation, avoiding the claims process will avoid an unwarranted claim on your records.
Know your insurance deductible before you call. If your deductible is more than the cost of your repair, you can do the repairs yourself and avoid frivolous claims.
You could lose your claim-free discount on a combination home/auto policy if you file a claim. Some providers reward consumers who combine home and auto insurance without any claims. Filing a claim on your home or auto insurance could result in increased premiums if you lose your claim-free discount.
Common Mistakes Made When Filing Insurance Claims
It can make a big difference if you know how to file an insurance claim the right way. Avoid these mistakes to ensure your claims are paid quickly.
Cleaning too soon: Cleaning up damage too quickly can delay the claim process. Do not discard damaged items or receipts that support your claim.
Lack of documentation: You must photograph or film to demonstrate the extent of the damage.
Waiting too long to file: Depending on your state’s laws, you may have up to a year to file a claim. However, the insurance company may not cover your claim if you wait too long. Either way, the sooner you file a claim, the sooner you can get your damages repaired.
Deposit for something not covered: You need to make sure you have the right cover in place. For example, damage caused by flooding is not covered by home insurance. You will need to file flood claims through your flood insurance provider.
What is a third-party claim?
A first party insurance claim is a claim that is filed with your own insurance company, while a third party insurance claim is filed with the responsible party’s insurance company.
The type of claim you file will be determined by who was responsible for the accident; however, the first step is to file a claim if you have been injured in an accident. You should file a claim to seek compensation for your losses, such as doctor’s bills, missed work, and pain and suffering. Suing for personal injury is another option for obtaining compensation.
Because insurance requirements differ from state to state, it’s essential to know your state’s claims laws. If in doubt, contact your state’s Department of Insurance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why was my request denied?
Due to the nature of the accident or your insurance policy, your claim may be denied. For example, if there is evidence that you violated state laws during the incident, your claim will most likely be denied. Also, if your claim is for something that isn’t covered, it may be denied. If you deliberately damage your own property, for example, your claim may be denied because the insurance does not cover intentional damage.
Is it possible to cancel an insurance claim?
Is it possible to cancel an insurance claim?
Yes, you have the option to cancel a claim. Once you have made the decision to cancel a claim, contact your insurance provider with your name, claim number and reason for cancellation. Your claims agent will guide you through the process of canceling your claim, including any documentation you will need to provide. The majority of insurance companies do not charge a fee for canceling a claim.