Tips for Effectively Filing Claims

Experiencing a loss can be stressful
 
Having insurance coverage will help alleviate the financial burden a loss can cause. The first step in restoring your property and moving forward is to determine if your policy provides coverage for the loss. To do this you need to file a claim with the insurer.
 
While the claims process isn't something many eagerly look forward to, there are definitely ways you can make it a less stressful experience. To help you successfully navigate the process, here are several tips for effectively and efficiently filing claims.
 
Reach out to your agent first.
 
In the event of a potential claim, it's best to contact your agent directly instead of the broader insurance provider. Your agent will be able to explain your options and advise on whether filing a claim is in your best interest. In some cases, your agent may even file the claim for you.
 
Provide complete, correct information.

Explain the situation accurately without downplaying or exaggerating your loss. Incorrect or incomplete information may cause complications and delays in processing the claim. Additionally, materially misrepresenting the facts of your loss may result in a loss of coverage.
Be prepared with the right information.
 
When you file your claim or make follow-up calls regarding the process, be sure to have the right information so your conversation is easier and more effective. Have your inventory list and the details of your loss, and keep the following information handy for your claims representative:

  • The customer's name and address
  • The policy number
  • The date the loss happened
  • A description of what happened
  • A preferred telephone number for future contact

 

REPORT YOUR LOSS PROMPTLY
 
Always file your claim as soon as you possibly can. Of course, theft losses should be reported to the police first, and in other situations of danger and urgency, safety takes priority. But once it's safe and reasonable to do so, you should contact your insurance agent. This is important because your policy might require you to make the notification within a certain amount of time. Not filing a claim within the time required in your policy may lead to a denial of the claim or may result in the claims process taking longer.
 
 
Ask questions.

Don't be afraid to ask your claims
representative for more information or clarification. The process will go much more smoothly if you are both on the same page and fully understand each other. For example, if there is a disagreement about the coverage of the claim, ask for the specific language in the policy that is in question to find out if it is a matter of differing interpretations.