Insurance Claim Process
You’re driving home from work. It’s raining cats and dogs, and you can’t wait to get back. Out of nowhere, you hear a massive crash and another one as you push your foot against the brakes. In the chaos of it all, somewhere in the back of your mind, you remember you have to file an insurance claim. But do you know how?
An insurance claim is a formal request by an insured to their insurance company to compensate them for a covered loss or a damaging event. Once the insurer validates the claim, it approves and issues payment to the insured. Alternatively, an authorized par ty can also receive the payment on behalf of the insured. The insurance claim process doesn’t sound very complicated. However, this process is when most insureds lose patience and get frustrated with their insurance agent and carrier as well. Therefore, this article will guide you through the insurance claim process for you to receive your claim.
1. Call your agent
If you don’t have your agent on speed-dial, it may be time to do that now. Your insurance agent should be your go-to person during such situations. Just a simple phone call with your agent can give you a good idea of how much of the damage your insurance policy will cover. Your agent will also be able to provide you with directions to file an insurance claim and may also send you the necessary requirements and forms.
Many people struggle with this first step itself. The reason for their struggle could be their weak relationship with their agent. You can distinguish whether your agent is good or bad based on how they react or respond to your first call about an insurance claim. If you have chosen the right insurance agent, they will do their best to ease your way through the process. However, it is not uncommon for most carriers and agents to be unhospitable during such events. Therefore, the insurance claims process is a good time for insurance agents to provide excellent service and retain their clients.
2. Fill out claim forms
Most carrier’s out their claim forms online, so you can probably find it easily. If you cannot find it online, you can ask your agent or carrier to send these forms to you. The form will ask for some standard information like your name, address, insurance policy number. You will be required to specify the damage or event and how much it is you want to claim for the damage that your insurance covers.
While the form covers most of the required information, some carriers require insureds to write and submit a claim letter as well. This letter should include the details of the damage or circumstances and your claim. If you are in a situation where you need to file a police report, your carrier may also require you to submit a copy of the document.
3. Inspection and evaluation
For property damage claims , insurance companies have adjusters inspect and evaluate the damage. Adjusters are the representatives of your insurance company who inspect the property damage. Every claim can vary in the amount and type of damage caused. Therefore, the claims process will also vary according to the situation. This is why the adjuster will have to dedicate as much time and attention it takes to resolve your case. After careful examination and consideration, the adjuster will determine how much the insurance company should pay for the loss.
Try not to throw out any damaged items until the adjuster’s visit. Since they will interview you and then inspect the property, you will need to show the adjuster any structural damages. You can prepare a list of damaged items beforehand to explain to the adjuster during their visit. If you have a recording of the damage or accident, you can also show it to the adjuster.
4. Make temporary repairs
While your agent or insurer will try to make this process easy, it might take some time for the company to reimburse you. So, make temporary repairs if it is necessary. For example, if a tree branch has made a hole in your roof due to the hurricane, you may need to fix the roof temporarily. However, it would help if you remembered to keep all the receipts for the repairs as you may have to present the bills of the repair.
5. Get the required documentations
Besides the documents mentioned above, you may need to present other documents depending on the type of damage and claim. Most insurers now have apps or online portals where these requirements will be stated and tracked as well. According to IBIS World, the US Market Size for Insurance Claims Processing Software in 2020 measured by revenue is $12.2bn. Check to see if your insurer has such features. If not, you may have to get in touch with your agent more regularly throughout the process.