Every one of us has an insurance policy (we hope) and we all most likely have different variations of insurance policies. We purchase it for our protection and in the back of our minds we hope we never really have to use it. Then life happens. You’re in an accident, you develop an illness, or a disastrous storm comes through the area. No matter what the issue is, we’re assuming that filing an insurance claim might be a pain point in your mind. Never fear though, Keystone- Deibler Straub & Troutman is here to provide you with some simple tips to ensure the process is as painless for you as possible.
Where Do I Begin?
To start off, ask yourself if filing a claim is even necessary? There isn’t necessarily a need to file a claim for every small issue that occurs within your home or to your belongings; however we are always willing to help. Small self-fixable issues would have the same deductible and the same potential to raise premiums as a whole house replacement would have. Our advice to you is to keep your deductible a little higher which would keep your monthly rates lower and may in turn help you save more money that you could use for a small replacement. Additionally, every claim that you file would be documented for seven years in a file known as the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, or CLUE. If you were to file more than three claims in a short period of time you may be flagged as a high risk which can raise your premiums. You are always welcome to contact us at Keystone- Deibler Straub & Troutman for assistance and we can help to walk you through every step.
Second, make sure you are familiar with your policy. You should review your policy every year or every time you switch carriers. The declarations page of your insurance will inform you of what is covered and it will also list the maximum value you can receive from a claim. Once an Adjuster is called to the property they have the right to decide whether to file the claim or disregard it. Even if they choose to disregard it, it will still be recorded as a filed claim and be documented in your CLUE file.
Bringing In the Help
When it comes to the damage done, make sure you have a good and reliable contractor, auto body shop, etc. lined up to do the repairs. This person may also be used to give you your repair cost estimates. Also don’t forget to have the police involved if the damage is caused by theft or criminal activity. Perhaps the most important step in a claims process is to document the damage with photos, lots of photos. You can use wide shots to get a lot of details in a room such as location and you could also use a ruler or even a dollar bill to scale damages such as hail damage. Videos are also a good way to document things as they can provide better accuracy and eliminate more discrepancies over photos in regards to location and scale.
If you do not fully own your home, contacting your mortgage lender will be your next step. They will also be able to assist you during the settlement process. After this, the next step is having the claims Adjuster come to inspect the damage. They will be sent from the insurance company and you should provide them with all necessary information as well as providing them your own written copy of the damage. Don’t forget, you can always contact us for advice on what details to share with them or even what not to share with them.
The Little Details
Make sure you leave a paper trail during the whole claims process. This could include noting phone calls, keeping receipts and emails, and having a documented cost of belongings, amongst other things. Finally, be ready to fight for your claim and never take a settlement for less than you deserve.
Having a good reputable insurance provider is the final key step to having a painless claims process. At Keystone- Deibler Straub & Troutman, it’s our goal to provide you with the greatest service in the area. If you are located in Elizabethville, Halifax, Millersburg, Upper Dauphin, Line Mountain or the surrounding area we would love see how we can assist you. Give us a call or check out our online quotes!