7 tips to stress-free insurance claims

October 14, 2014

Filing an insurance claim doesn't have to be a stressful process. Here are some tips to save you time and headaches when filing a claim.

7 tips to stress-free insurance claims

1. Timing matters

Whether your loss is due to the actions of another (such as a car accident or burglary), or is the result of an accident of your own fault, you need to let your insurance company know what happened right away, in no more than seven days.

In cases of personal injury, car accidents or burglary/theft, be sure to report the incident to the police, then promptly contact your insurance company.

In the event of an accident, contact your insurance company immediately to find out how long the claim will take, who is responsible for getting damage estimates, and whether or not your claim exceeds your deductible.

If you don’t report the incident on time, your insurance company may deny your claim.

2. Ensure you can be contacted

Make sure your insurance company has accurate contact information for you so that they can contact you as needed throughout the claims process.

3. Document all repairs

If you are going ahead with temporary repairs before your claim is settled, keep the receipts together for everything that’s been done. It’s a good idea to check with your insurance company before you go ahead with any home or auto repairs, to ensure that they will indeed cover the work after the claim is processed.

4. Complete and return forms as soon as possible

If you are mailed paperwork to fill out, complete it without delay. Then, return it right away so you don’t misplace it or run the risk of not getting paperwork submitted within deadlines. Be sure to make copies of all the forms.

5. Meeting with the claims adjuster

After a claim is reported, your case will be assigned to a claims adjuster who will either meet with you in person or over the telephone. The claims adjuster’s job is to determine to what extent your claim is covered by your policy, as well as explain/answer questions about your policy. Your claims adjuster is your guide, and you can go to him or her with any questions you have.

6. Keep detailed records

Write down everything, and keep records of all estimates and receipts, especially if you incur costs, as in the case of property damage while you need to live away from home. All of this must be reported to your claims adjuster.

7. Claim results—and what to do if you’re dissatisfied

What you receive for your claim will depend on what the insurance company determines regarding who is at fault in the incident. What type of insurance you have will also factor into the amount offered. Speak to your claims adjuster about your situation, and he or she will be able to explain your coverage options to you.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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