How To File Insurance Claims With Your Insurance Company
This content originates from the article “Insurance Strategies For Texans With Winter-Weather Problems”, by John Egan and Amy Danise of Forbes.
- Review your policy. Figure out what’s covered when filing insurance claims; what’s not covered, and what the deductibles are. If you’re unclear about coverage, contact your insurance agent or insurance company.
- Document the damage. Take photos and videos of damage caused by the winter disaster.
- Hang on to receipts for any temporary repairs, which may be covered by your policy. However, don’t make any permanent repairs until an insurance adjuster has evaluated your damage, as that could jeopardize the payment of a claim.
- Keep track of all of your communication with the insurance company. This should include the date, name, and title of each person you speak with and what was discussed.
- If an insurance claim adjuster is scheduled to visit, plan to be at your property at the time so you can point out all of the damage.
- Obtain repair bids from several contractors and compare them with the insurance adjuster’s report before settling your claim.
- Save proof that you paid the deductible on your claim. State law in Texas prohibits contractors and roofers from promising to waive a deductible or provide a deductible rebate. The law lets insurance companies request proof, such as a receipt or canceled check, that you paid for repairs in the amount of your deductible.
- Paying for repairs out of your own pocket if the claim payout will be less than your deductible. This way, you can avoid filing that will go on your record but that won’t result in a check.
- Stand up for yourself. Give your insurer a chance to do the right thing, but politely assert your right to the full protection you paid for.
- Be prepared to negotiate for a fair settlement of your claim.
- If you have a large claim, such as extensive building damage, consider hiring a public adjuster to help you with the paperwork and advocate on your behalf.
- Be patient. Some insurers will go above and beyond to ensure your claim is paid promptly and adequately, while others may vigorously fight a claim. “You will learn a lot about your company when you file a claim,” he observes.