Posted on Monday 20 August 2012
Carrying insurance is fundamental nowadays. You never know when something is going to happen that causes damage and/or requires money to solve a problem. Having an insurance policy in place provides the peace of mind you need to get on with your life. Once something does happen, and you need to use your insurance coverage, there is a process involved in order to receive payment from your carrier. Following are a few tips for filing an insurance claim.
Know Who to Contact
When you need to file an insurance claim, the first thing you’ll have to do is contact your provider. In order to save the hassle of trying to find the telephone number of your insurance company, it would be a good idea to keep that information in a place you can access quickly. Set aside a drawer or file cabinet in your home and keep all your important information in one place. That way you can simply go to that place and find the telephone number you need right away. Of course, it would be a good idea to keep copies of all your important information in another place, preferably outside the home or on your smart phone or laptop, in case of a fire.
Keep a Record
In order to file an insurance claim, you’ll need to have all pertinent information available when you contact the company. You should keep a log of all the times and methods that you use to contact the insurance company, just in case there’s a dispute later on. You should also have proof of the item in question, such as photographic or video graphic evidence that you actually owned the item and that it was in good shape prior to whatever incident caused the damage. The more detailed proof you have, the quicker you’ll be able to receive compensation from the insurance company.
Read the Policy
Before you contact the insurance company and begin the process of filing a claim, it would be a good idea to read through your policy. In that way, you will be able to familiarize yourself with what’s contained in the policy and find out for sure whether or not the item in question is covered and to what extent.
As you’re reading your policy, take note of how much your deductible is going to be. Because your insurance carrier might not pay you anything on the claim until the deductible is paid, you should make arrangements to have that amount on hand before filing the claim. If you don’t have enough money to pay the deductible, you may have to borrow it from a family member or a lending institution. Without that money, your insurance company may not be able to satisfy your claim.
Assess the Damage
Before you contact the insurance company, it may be a good idea to get an independent assessment of the damage. If whatever is in need of repair is only slightly more than your deductible, you may be better off footing the bill yourself rather than file a claim, because insurance rates may increase if you do file.
Once you decide that the damage surpasses the amount of your deductible to the extent that filing a claim is worthwhile, don’t put off doing so. Filing a claim promptly will speed up the process. It will also alleviate the problem of exceeding the filing deadline, if there is one–many insurance policies have a limit on the number of days after an event that you are allowed to file a claim.
Keep Track of Claims Documents
As soon as you contact your insurance company and let them know you want to file a claim, you will be given a claim number. Keep track of all the documents you receive in connection with filing your claim. When you need to contact the insurance company regarding the claim, you’ll be asked for the claim number. Also, write down the name of the employee who will be handling your claim, so you’ll know who within the company to ask for when you require information regarding the claim.
Follow Directions Implicitly
When dealing with your insurance company, make every effort to follow their directions implicitly. The easier you make it for them to do their job, the quicker you’ll receive adequate reimbursement for the damage, and the fewer headaches you’ll have to endure during the claims filing process.
Guest post from Riley Finnigan.