Insurance is one of the only products people pay for that they hope they will never use. Still, it is highly unlikely an auto insurance policy, health insurance policy, or another type of insurance policy will not be utilized. So, in the event you need to go through the insurance claims process — say your roof is damaged in a storm, you find yourself in a car accident, or a friendly hockey game gets you a knocked-out tooth — here is a general look at how to go about filing an insurance claim
1. Call Your Insurance Representative
As soon as you know you need to file a claim, it is important to reach out to your insurance agent. Regardless of how minor the health care concern or property damage is, you will want to know if your insurance policy will cover the situation. You can find your policy number on your insurance card or in your documents. If you cannot locate your card or documents, your rep should be able to look up your information for you.
2. Take Pictures and Video
It is common — especially in auto insurance claims — for a story to have multiple sides. Try to get ahead of any claims adjuster working for the other driver’s insurance company by taking photos and videos to document exactly what happened. If you have a dashcam that captured the car accident, the footage can greatly assist you in a car insurance claim, assuming you were not at fault. Any witnesses or testimonies proving you were not at fault can also be an asset. But it is not just vehicle accident claims that benefit from pictures and video. Your insurance adjuster can also use documentation of the damage to other types of property, such as a home or boat.
3. Use Your Insurer’s Mobile App
After calling your insurance representative, access your provider’s mobile app to start filing your claim. From the app, you should be able to report the time of the accident or incident, upload any relevant photos or videos from the scene of the accident or incident, such as vehicle damage, and double-check your deductible. Plus, you can review the details of your insurance coverage if you are unsure about any details of your policy.
4. Get All Your Claim Documents Together
While it is helpful to reference your insurance policy when filing a claim, there are other documents you will need to get and fill out. You will likely need to complete a “proof of claim” form. If you filed a police report, you will also need a copy of it. When in doubt regarding the forms you will need to submit, ask your insurance rep. They are knowledgeable and are there to help you through the process.
Regardless of the type of claim you are filing, there is typically a time limit for completing your claim, from submitting bills for reimbursement to resolving any disputes. Again, this is where a conversation with your insurance representative is crucial. Ask them for clarity on any timing issues regarding your claim and supporting documents you will need to submit.
Get the Benefits
Depending on the type of insurance in question and the type of coverage, some policyholders get additional assistance in the case of a car accident, home damage, and other issues. Find out whether your insurance pays for benefits like a rental car or a hotel stay. Remember that your insurance premium and policy often afford you certain benefits in addition to coverage. Make sure you take advantage of it.
Be a Good Customer
When filing an insurance claim, it pays to be a good customer. Fill out all the claim forms your insurance agent sends you. Keep records of every communication and document sent back and forth. If the adjuster asks for your license plate number a third time, give it to them. Stay positive, communicate often, and be helpful. Doing so will expedite the process and help you resolve the claim as soon as possible. Of course, advocate for yourself if you feel your claim is not getting the attention it needs. That is part of being a good customer, too.
Do you need insurance? TDECU is here to help you. Find out more about our many insurance options today.