When Filing An Insurance Claim

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					When Filing An Insurance Claim: 5 Common Mistakes

Clients are often at war with their insurance company over claims that they file. People
who call their carrier early, with good evidence and a strong understanding of their
contract, will be in a much more strategic position.

When people file insurance claims, whether homeowners, business, or drivers, they often make
many mistakes while under duress. Adjusters can be intimidating and even bully clients into
taking lowball offers or giving false information that can void their responsibilities. You can,
however, get the upper hand with a little bit of preparation. Here are five mistakes to avoid when
filing your next claim.

1. Delay
Why are you waiting to call your insurance company? Whether a fire consumed your house, you
car totaled, or your bathroom flooded, you need to let your carrier know as soon as possible.
Waiting to contact them can be looked upon as highly suspicious unless there is a sufficient
reason such as due to medical injury. Agents are also notoriously slow in processing claims,
meaning every day you wait to file is another day you wait to receive compensation. Can you
really wait to be made whole again?

2. No Approval
Some people jump the gun and try to pay for damages out of their own pocket, expecting their
carrier to pay them back. It can seem tempting to circumvent the process in order to get the job
done faster, but there are several reasons not to do this. Some insurance companies are extremely
strict and will only approve certain auto shops or construction companies to perform any work
on your property. If you take the matter into your own hands, you may have to pay out of pocket
as well.

3. No Evidence
Anyone can file a claim, but to get approval you're going to have to show some evidence that
you aren't just full of hot air. Pictures are generally standard even following a car collision. Most
cell phones have built-in cameras so there are few excuses for not having photos of your car (and
the other driver's) immediately following the accident. Home damage should likewise be
documented through photographs. If any other property was damaged (for example if there was a
flood), then keep these items if possible to show an adjuster.

4. Not Preparing
Do you know how much compensation you are entitled to receive? Most people don't because
they don't go over their most recent policy before filing a claim. Read over it carefully, and if
you can't find it, ask for it to be sent to you. It is in the best interest of your insurer to pay you the
least amount possible, but you may be entitled to more. Be prepared before negotiating with
them and you will have more power.

5. Acceptance
Do you feel you are not being offered enough compensation but accept it anyways? Stop. You
don't have to take the first offer. You can appeal or even get a lawyer if necessary. It may not be
worth it if the difference isn't that great, but if you feel the compensation is significantly lower
than what it should be, there's no reason not to question it. You are paying a lot of money for a
service, so you should be treated fairly.

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Tags: Insurance
Description: Insurance Claim