The Insurance Claims Process
If you ever encounter a situation where you need to make a claim, it’s important to understand the insurance claims process. The team at Jeffrey & Spence want to make sure you have the knowledge to understand what to do in the event of a claim.
What Should I Do Before Making A Claim?
Before you call your insurance broker or provider, there are a few things you should do to prepare. You’ll need to have a few key pieces of information at hand, depending on the claim situation:
- Damage assessment – You’ll need to provide as much proof of damage as you can. Use your phone or a camera to take photos or videos of any damage you’re claiming. This is essential evidence when it comes to proving your claim and documenting what you’ve lost.
- Make an inventory of your losses – Whether you’ve been a victim of theft or property damage, you should make an inventory of all of the items you’ve lost or that have been damaged. Make the list as detailed as possible.
- Don’t make your own repairs – Avoid the urge to try to repair anything that may have been damaged or broken, as this could cause even more damage and may impact your claim.
Calling Your Insurance Broker
Your first call when making a claim should be to your insurance broker. They are your advocate and will help you navigate the claim process. Your insurance broker will ask you questions about what happened to your property, when the incident took place, and what you’ve done in regards to the damages since then. You’ll need to provide as much detail as possible so they can help you with your claim.
What Other Information Do I Need To Provide During A Claim?
As the claim process moves forward, you’ll need to provide receipts, warranties, manuals, photos, and valuation certificates (if you have them) that relate to any items you’re claiming. Always store these important documents somewhere safe in order that they’ll be easy to find in the event of a claim. Jewelry, paintings, watches, collectables, electronics, and other high value items are likely to have this kind of documentation.
If you’re filing a claim for a repair to your home or vehicle, your insurance provider will often give you a list of approved contractors to choose from to assess the damage.
If you’ve been the victim of theft, you don’t just have to call your insurance broker or provider — you’ll also need to file a report with the police. The police should then provide you with a report, or incident number, that you can pass along to your insurance provider.
How Much Do I Have To Pay For My Claim?
Even though having insurance means that you won’t have to pay for the full cost of damages or loss, insurance policies have a deductible that you’re required to pay as part of your claim. Consult your insurance broker or your insurance policy to view your deductibles.
How Do I Know My Claim Will Be Approved?
Not all claims are approved, but being familiar with your insurance policy and its limitations will help you avoid this confusion. If you have read and understood your insurance policy fully, and you’ve made certain to include all of the additions and extras you think you’re likely to need, you should have no problem filing a claim. If you’re still unsure what you’re covered for, contact your insurance broker.
What Happens To My Monthly Premiums?
After you file a claim, your insurance premiums may or may not increase. Some insurance providers offer discounts if you have not made any prior claims.
Filing multiple claims within a year, or many claims over a period of years, is likely to increase your premiums. Your insurance provider bases your premiums on how much of a risk you pose — and if you’re regularly making insurance claims, you pose a higher risk to them.
If you’re unsure of what your insurance policy covers, or if you’d like to talk about your insurance options, contact the team at Jeffery & Spence Insurance.