Insurance claims don't have to be difficult. They are never going to be convenient, but they can go smoothly. Knowing what to expect is half the battle, and being proactive can help things move along. There are a few basic steps in the claims process.
- Preparing to call - Before you call to file your claim it doesn't hurt to have a few things on hand to make the process go smoother.
- Your Policy Number
- The date the loss happened
- A description of what happened
- Your contact information
- Contact information for any witnesses or other people involved.
- Filing a claim - As soon as you have had a claim you will need to file it with your company. Today that can be done in a number of different ways. Sometimes the easiest is to simply pick up the phone. Below are phone numbers for each of the companies that we represent.
- Getting an Adjuster - Once you have filed your claim you will be assigned an adjuster that will handle your claim. Depending on the type of claim this could be a team or an individual. Once you have filed your assigned adjuster will reach out to you to introduce themselves and explain the process related to your claim.
- Gathering information - The adjuster's responsibility is to gather information about the claim, determine the value of the loss, make sure that coverage applies to the loss, and to settle the claim. They will ask lots of questions, explain coverage, and suggest ways to minimize further damage. If needed they might schedule an appointment to come review the damage.
- Estimating the damage - Once it has been determined that your loss is covered they the adjuster will work with you to get estimates for repair.
- Settling the claim - Once estimates for repair have been received, the company will then pay you for the loss (remember there will be a deductible).
- Closing the claim - Once the claim has been paid, the claim will be closed. If there are additional costs related to that claim, your claim can be reopened to investigate if coverage applies.
How long do claims take to close? It depends on how complex of a claim it is, so ask the adjuster when you talk to them. Staying on top of things, getting estimates in a timely manner can have a big impact on how quickly it takes to close the claim.