The most important thing to have in a situation when you are filing something like insurance claims, auto or homeowners’, is communication. You will need to be in the loop with your insurance provider in order to get the payout in a timely, organized, and secure manner. There is also the matter of talking to the insurance adjuster who will oversee your claims case. The best communication always comes with preparedness, and that is what this post is all about. Being able to receive a payout for injuries or damage in the car or home is the main reason why you have insurance, so you want it to come through as advertised.
Filing an insurance claim, whether it’s for your car or home, is essentially letting your insurance provider know that you need to receive a payout based on what your policy covers. Here’s why you may file a claim in the case of both homeowners’ and car insurance:
- Homeowners’ insurance claims - You may file a claim with your homeowners’ insurance if someone is injured while visiting your home as a liability claim. But the most common type of homeowners' claims is because of damage being done to the home either by crime or weather. Homeowners’ insurance often has to come through for people living in areas with high crime rates or hazardous weather conditions.
- Car insurance claims - If you cause another driver any injuries and their car any damage, you and the other driver will file a claim with your insurance provider since you are at fault for the damages and injuries. If you have the coverage, you can file a claim when your car is damaged by crime or weather while it’s parked. Other reasons to file a car insurance claim are when you receive roadside assistance when it breaks down or if another is at fault. It all depends on how many coverages you have.
Of course, the first step to any type of insurance claim is to document the damages. Several people do this through pictures or videos of damage done to their cars and homes. The insurance adjuster, who determines the severity of the damage and how much the payout will be, will have these photographs to go on. From there, do the following to make sure your claim goes smoothly:
- Receive repairs as you await payout - If it was your car that was damaged, your car insurance would usually direct you to an approved auto shop for repairs. For damage to homes, approved contractors will be on-site to make repairs. Any injuries from either a car accident or mishap at home would be taken care of at once if they were urgent.
- Pay deductible - In cases of any insurance, you will always have to pay a deductible before the claim goes through. You usually are in charge of how much your deductible is, and it is directly inverse to how much you pay for your insurance. You should always be sure that your deductible is an amount that you can pay.
- Have damages evaluated by an insurance adjuster - Now, the insurance adjuster really comes into play. They will likely want to review documentation, look at the evidence, interview witnesses, and ask you for a statement on what happened. They will then approve your claim if everything is presented to them.
- Gather and fill out any necessary paperwork - This may go hand-in-hand with documenting the damages, but you should have the police report, if any, of the accident in question. It’s at this point that you should begin sharing the photos and reports along with filling out any official forms regarding your losses and damages. This will, again, let your cheap providerknow which one of your coverages will be used to pay for the damages.
- Inform your insurance provider - Right off the bat, your communication with your insurance provider begins. By communicating the damages and what happened to your insurance provider, they will get an idea of whether or not your current coverage will insure it. It’s best to get in communication with them as soon as possible as there may be some time limits to how soon you can file your claim.
Already, we stressed the importance of remaining in the communication loop with your insurance provider when first reporting the damages and with the insurance adjuster when they investigate. These are the parties that determine whether or not you get the payout afterward. But, you should also stay in regular contact with any witnesses and drivers or people involved in the accident. Sometimes, filing a claim is a cooperative effort between drivers, so be sure to get their contact information.
You will receive the financial protection you signed up for when your insurance company finally pays your claim out. In liability cases, the insurance company will pay those who are supposed to receive the payout directly as opposed to having you do all the work. The only drawback is that how much you pay for insurance may increase depending on the circumstance of your damage. If you have any questions about the specifics of your policy and how soon it will pay out, consult your insurance agent. Again, another need for good communication with your insurer.