Trying to claim insurance can often be an absolute nightmare for most. The headache of dealing with accidental and unforeseen events can often be quite overwhelming on their own. Dealing with damages to your home or car, a personal injury lawsuit or healthcare bills is extremely stressful. On top of this, if you have to file an insurance claim, it can pile on more stress. Being familiar with the process of claiming insurance can help you keep your calm under distressing situations. So, here are some key steps that you should keep in mind while filing an insurance claim.
The First Step for Filing an Insurance Claim
The very first step that you have to figure out is which type of insurance policy you have. So, take out your policy document and start reading every fine print of the policy. This will help you understand what your rights and responsibilities in the situation are. These are things to look for:
- Does the policy document cover the particular situation you are facing?
- What is the timeline for filing the claim? Some policies require individuals to file claims before 24 hours has elapsed from the time of the incident.
- Do you have multiple policies that can cover the same situation?
- Do you have any type of deductibles that applies to a specific situation? If your claim amount is lesser than the deductible, it may not be wise to pursue the claim. This is because doing so can raise your rates of insurance.
Step No. 2 for Filing an Insurance Claim: Contacting your insurance agent
After reviewing the documents, contact your agent within the time-frame stipulated. This will help you be familiar with the forms to be filled in and information to be submitted. Also, you should make it a point to keep detailed notes of these correspondences.
You should always be honest about the damages incurred when filing a claim. Insurance fraud is a serious offense which can invalidate your property and lead to criminal and civil consequences. If you think your insurance company isn’t fulfilling their obligations, you can always contact a lawyer for advice.
Process of filing insurance claims for different situations
Accidents and injury
The window for filing accident-related policy claims is quite short. For home, motor and liabilities, take clear pictures and contact of eye-witnesses for the accident. If someone else is at fault, you also need to consider whether to file a 3rd party claim.
For property damage claims, you may need to hire public insurance adjustors for proper assessment of the damages. This may be done to cross-check the estimate offered by the company’s adjuster as well. Also, you may need to submit medical examination reports as well if you sustained personal injuries.
Process of claiming health insurance
Generally, health care providers submit claims directly to the insurance company if they have relevant information. For self-submission of claims, contact the company for relevant forms. You will have to submit a comprehensive bill from the healthcare provider too.
Process for claiming life insurance policies
Firstly, to file life insurance claims, you will need to submit copies of the death certificate with relevant forms. Further, the window of filing differs from state to state.
In conclusion, always remember that you don’t have to accept the settlement offer your insurance company offers. If you feel that it is inadequate, contact an independent assessor and an insurance attorney for advice.