When you have to file a claim, the process can often be confusing, long, and difficult to navigate on your own. From figuring out who to call, what to report, where to go; it’s a lot of work! Not to worry though, we are here to help you through it! Here are some helpful tips to make the process as smooth as possible.
Car accidents are one of the scariest things that can happen within the insurance world, and they are never something that are easy to deal with. The most important thing is to be prepared for the possibility of such a situation affecting you and your loved ones directly. Preparing yourself mentally and physically with protection and knowledge, you can assist the claim process in running smoothly and simply. Whether you find yourself in a small fender-bender, a larger more serious accident, or even a total loss, it is very important that you let your insurer know as soon as you possibly can in order to properly protect you. Reaching out quickly can ensure that you do not inadvertently invalidate your coverage. This is also an important concept when it comes to automobile theft, fire, or other motor vehicle accidents, especially if your accident involves other people and/or vehicles.
When your automobile accident involves other people and/or vehicles the first step is not to call your insurer or insurance company, but rather to call the police. Law enforcement is the party who will need to officially document the incident and complete a report that can later be used by your insurance company if need be. Something else that could be helpful when filing a report of an accident is taking notes and/or pictures yourself if you can. Detailing what exactly happened leading up to the incident, detailing what happened during the incident, and even tracking simple details such as the date, the time, what side of the road you are on, what direction you were headed vs. the other vehicle, (etc.), can help. Another important thing to take note of is if there are any witnesses. If there are witnesses, then take down their name and contact information as well as any statements they are willing to give you. Taking your own notes and detailing what happened is even more important when you believe that the other party is at fault. Among other things, it is important to get the other driver’s name, their address, and their driver’s license number. An important thing to realize is that the driver is sometimes not the named insured on the policy, so it is essential that you also get the insured’s name and policy number. Whether you believe the accident was your fault or the other driver’s fault, it is always a good idea to use your cell phone or another camera to take photos. Take photos of the damage inflicted upon your vehicle, the damage inflicted upon their vehicle, as well as the scene and other images that you find pertinent. Once all of these steps have been followed immediately following the incident, it might be time to file a claim. If your incident involves another person and/or vehicle of any kind, you need to call your agent and/or your insurance company as soon as you can.
When it comes to filing an automobile claim that is filed due to damages inflicted by severe weather conditions, destructive vandalism, or other such circumstances, the process in terms of photographs, taking down your own notes for the report, as well as reaching out to law enforcement and your insurer is the same. Your next steps will be determined by your insurance company and/or agent, so be sure to follow their guidance and advice based upon your unique accident circumstances and specific policy coverage. If you decide to make repairs immediately be sure to take photographs the entire process as well as keep receipts – your insurance company may inquire about such documentation at a later date/time.
Another frightening insurance situation is when a homeowner’s insurance claim needs to be filed. Your home is one of your most valuable assets, if not the most valuable asset, that you and your loved ones have. Here are some tips for filing such an important claim:
Whenever the damage and/or loss is first inflicted the most important thing is to ensure that you and your loved ones find safety. Some homeowner’s insurance claims are minor such as brief roof damage, while others are major such as a total loss inflicted by a natural disaster. No matter the damage you must ensure that you and your family and/or roommates are in no eminent danger. If needed, contact any emergency personnel before reaching out to any insurance professionals.
Once immediate danger has been addressed, follow the same protocol as the automobile insurance claim process in terms of taking appropriate records yourself. Take pictures of the damage, take down the date and time, and write down any details you believe would be important. It is then your responsibility to reach out to the appropriate contacts in order to prevent any further damage from being caused depending on the situation. If you do take this course of action, be sure to keep the receipts in a file in order to properly record the situation (these might be used at a later day). The most important thing to note here is to NOT repair anything yourself or hire anyone else to repair any damages inflicted upon your property. This is because you will need to have an adjuster come out to the property and inspect the damage and report back for your insurance company to move forward. Following an inspection simply follow your insurance agent’s advice in terms of moving forward and addressing the damages on your property. Team Wren is full of helpful referrals for many common household adjustments so reach out if you have any questions!
If the claim that you are filing is in relation to a burglary incident or vandalism incident the first step is to contact law enforcement. This is because an official police report will need to be made and will later be used by your insurance company to assess damages. If you notice that valuable items are missing or damaged, file a police complaint in order to address the issue. It is again important to take your own notes and track what is missing, what items you believe to be damaged, (etc.), before reaching out to your insurance agent and/or company. Once you have a list of damaged and/or stolen property, contact your insurance point of contact and report the loss to your company. This is when your documentation will come in handy.
If the claim that you are filing is in relation to an injury inflicted upon a person on your property, then preserve any details, photos, or notes just the same. Be sure to write down who got injured, how they got injured, and what the process of treatment was following the injury. Such injuries could be from someone falling, using a power tool or kitchen appliance incorrectly, or even getting into a physical altercation. Of course, safety is the most important thing to us, so we want you to ensure that the proper treatment is pursued for you and any other persons injured – keep any hospital or other medical receipts and/or prescriptions. Once all safety precautions are in place, reach out to your insurance company and/or agent and seek their advice on next steps.
As always, we will be happy to assist you with the process and answer any questions you might have along the way! If you are looking for your company’s direct contact information, check out our resources on our website.