Unavoidable mishaps and unpredictable disasters can wreak havoc on your property, your finances and your life, and that’s why you have insurance. Having that protection is a good thing, but do you know how to use it when you need it? You’ll navigate the insurance claims process more easily if you know what to expect.
Getting Ready To File Insurance Claims
You’ve suffered some type of event that insurers would call a loss; it could be damage to your car or home, injury in an accident or the theft of your insured property. Where do you begin?
- First, document your loss or damage, as well as the circumstances that led to the loss. Take photos and collect witnesses’ contact information, if applicable. Make a list of lost or stolen possessions and gather proof of their value, such as receipts.
- Carefully read through your policy and make sure you understand what is covered and which provisions are likely to apply.
- Decide if a claim makes sense in your case. If you can cover the cost of your loss out of your emergency savings, you may decide not to rely on insurance this time.
When you’re prepared, contact the insurer and give them all the necessary information.
Pursuing Your Insurance Claims to a Final Resolution
It’s important to follow up on your claim so you know its status and when to expect compensation.
- Make contact with the adjuster and maintain communication. Your insurer will send an adjuster out to inspect the damage and interview you. They may also obtain police reports, contact witnesses or other parties involved and scrutinize your receipts and other documents.
- Be realistic about the time frame. A bigger loss will usually take longer to settle than a more modest claim. Your insurance adjuster can give you a general idea of how long you should expect the process to take, but keep in mind that every case is different. Unexpected or unusual details of your claim can affect the timeline.
- Compare the offer you get from the adjuster to your policy and what you expect your true loss and costs to be. If you think the settlement offered is too low, you can appeal the decision and ask your insurer to review your claim. If there’s additional evidence you can provide to support a higher number, asking for a review might be worth your time.
Everyone hopes to avoid the kinds of events that lead to insurance claims. When those events arise, however, your insurance coverage will ultimately be a source of reassurance rather than stress. To be sure you’ve got the right protection for the right price, contact Wayne Peart Insurance Agencies for a free quote.