The Insurance Claim Process
Each policy is different and outlines a policyholder’s responsibility as well as the insurer’s, but the same general premise always applies. When filing a property damage insurance claim, the insurance provider must act in good faith and uphold the contractual obligations outlined within the insurance policy. The insurance provider’s duties are to adequately investigate and evaluate property damage, apply for available coverage, and promptly pay for the damaged property’s repair. However, it is the policyholder’s responsibility to prove their loss. The misconception is often that the insurance claim process is the responsibility of the provider to prove or disprove damage occurred; however, the burden actually falls to the property holder.
Depending on the loss, various professionals can assist with the claim process and provide the necessary proof required for the claim. Even though not all property damage claims will require a public adjuster’s services, seeking an expert’s advice is always beneficial for those handling their claim without representation. That being said, if you plan to go through the claims process on your own, below are some reasons to ensure you cooperate with the insurance company’s claim investigation.
- To ensure that your claim is processed promptly. – Providing the insurance company with the information and documentation they require promptly ensures that the claim process is in motion and has the opportunity to result in a speedy resolution.
- To ensure your claim is handled properly. -Providing accurate information and detailed documentation ensures that the insurance provider has the necessary proof of damages to properly determine the amount of compensation to pay based on the coverage in the policy.
- To avoid delays and complications. – If a policyholder does not cooperate with the insurance company throughout the claims process, it can cause unnecessary delays and complications, leading to improper damage assessments and delayed or insufficient settlement offers.
- To maintain coverage. – It is a policy requirement in every insurance policy to cooperate with the insurance company’s investigation of an insurance claim. Failure to cooperate can result in a denial of the claim and even a cancellation of the policy.
How To Prepare
In addition to ensuring you are fully cooperating with an insurance company, it may be necessary to provide documentation, explanations, and more throughout the provider’s investigation. Below are a few things to do and items to prepare after your property sustains a loss.
- A description of what occurred, including dates, times, and as many details as possible.
- Photos. The more, the better.
- Create a list of the damaged items (that you know of) and the cost to replace them.
- An estimate from a reputable contractor to repair the damages.
By having these items prepared, along with an understanding of what your insurance policy coverage is, you have equipt yourself to the best of your ability for what may be a tedious process. Most property damage claim experts will be more than happy to review your insurance policy and provide you with a claim review for free. Do not hesitate to seek a claim expert’s opinion at any point throughout the process.