Avoiding these eight errors can expedite the claims process and save you money
We all make mistakes, but some are often costlier than others. And when they’re related to insurance, these errors could be especially expensive. If you need to file a claim with your insurance company in regards to your home, car, or anything else, you definitely want to avoid these blunders:
Not calling your company right away
Because claims often rely on physical evidence – and possible witnesses – the earlier they are reported, the better. Also, many policies make it mandatory to file a claim within a certain time.
Throwing away damaged items
That physical evidence just mentioned is important, which means you must do what you can to hold on to it. An adjuster will have to look at everything before it can be disposed of.
Not getting in touch with the authorities
If your home was robbed or vandalized, calling the police is crucial. If you don’t, this could be a violation of your policy. In the instance of a car accident, a police report can come in very handy, especially if you weren’t to blame.
Paying someone out of your pocket
If you were at fault for an accident that results in an injury or damage to property, you might think about bypassing insurance altogether and just paying the other parties involved. Doing this is something else that may violate your policy. Another reason why this is a mistake is that even minor injuries could develop into something more serious – and costly – down the road.
Admitting it was your fault
Even if an accident seems as though it was completely your fault, you don’t want to admit this. If an injured person files a claim against you and you already accepted responsibility for the accident, this could hurt your insurance company’s defense. And again, an admission of guilt could be a breach of the contract you signed with your insurer.
Not documenting things correctly (or at all)
Have you made a list of the valuable items in your home? This is something you’ll appreciate if you’re ever the victim of a break-in. And if your home has been damaged or you get into a car accident, be sure to take photos – and/or video – and make a note of times and dates. Not doing this will make things harder for your insurance company, which in turn will require a longer waiting period for you.
Filing a claim when you shouldn’t
Because you pay for insurance every month, you may be tempted to use it. That’s what it’s there for, right? But before you contact your company, it’s important to think about what this will cost you. For example, let’s say a tree branch (from your own tree) fell on your car causing $600 of damage. If your deductible is $500, it’s not worth making a claim. You’ll get your $100, but your premiums will probably go up.
Not reading your policy
Yes, we know how long these insurance contracts can be, but you’ll do yourself a big favor if you read them thoroughly. Everything you need to know about coverage and claims is in there. And if you do not understand something or need a better explanation, don’t hesitate to contact your insurance company.
Because an insurance claim typically involves a lot of money, it’s vital that know what to do when making one. For more information on how the claims process works or if you have any other insurance questions, get in touch with Avante Insurance.