How To File An Insurance Claim – We spend all that time paying the insurance companies and then when it comes to them paying us back, for what we agreed, it seems like they sometimes do everything in their power to hold the money back. Of course that is a big part of their business model but a well put together claim and persistance should help you get what you are entitled to.
How To File An Insurance Claim
The main thing here is to stay calm and keep things professional. Filling itself isn’t hard but the wrong use of words, shouting at a representative or accepting their pushing you away could result in you not getting the due claim. Here are some simple guidelines that should help.
1. Record everything you can – When the incident happens it helps to record as much evidence as you can. Take photographs, names of witnesses if appropriate and write down any important pieces of information. A good picture of the scene will help you through the entire process. Also through the filing you want to keep clear record of all correspondence and maybe even record phone calls or at least what was discussed and with whom.
2. Read and understad your policy back to back – It’s the details they always get you on! Knowing exactly what your policy contains is important and will allow you to file correctly. If your kitchen is drowning in water from a burst pipe and you file for flood damage on a policy that does not cover that you will likely get refused. However if you file for water damage from a burst pipe, you will likely get your claim. Using the correct wording to fit within the policy guidelines is essential.
3. Don’t panic – Shouting, screaming, writing frantically, threatening lawyers and using scary words like ‘flood’, ‘ devastation’, ‘destroyed’ etc etc will only mess with your claim. Downplaying things and being professional will help the claim slip through smoothly.
4. File correctly and quickly – Your insurer will likely have a simple procedure. It may involve filling forms, sending them off and following up with a call. Your policy documents should lay this procedure out, so familiarize yourself with it and follow it to a tee. Also put this in as soon ater the incident as you can to get the process rolling whilst the problem is still fresh.
5. Prevent further problems / damage – If there is anything you can do to stop the problems getting worse then it will be wise to do that. It could be a temporary repair or something similar. Just make sure your policy covers such things, most do, and contact the insurers to make sure you don’t have to file any additional steps or get certain things approved by them. Do everything by their books and they will have less to trip you up with.
6. Be persistant – I would start with reasonably regular, but polite, followup calls if their response isn’t as quick as they said it would be. I’d also just drop a line to make sure that there is nothing you can do to help the claim along or if anything is missing.
7. Dealing with problems – If the insurer is acting badly or not responding then you may have to take further action. Calling the insurance office in your state and finding out the best course of action is your most responsible bet. Jumping into lawyer mode could cause you more problems and money if you don’t know exactly what you are doing.
How To File An Insurance Claim
Hopefully these tips were helpful but of course every claim and situation is different and of course every policy is different too. I’m sure you have all claimed something before so I would love to hear about your experiences and any advice you picked up along the way.
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