Sunday December 1, 2013
Selecting the right insurance policy can be a complicated process. Determining deductibles and coverage limits can often seem abstract, as auto, home, and commercial insurance is mandatory. We all want to find the least expensive premiums for our car, home, or business. But, we can’t necessarily forecast how and when we will need to put our policy into action.
The claims process should be fast and simple. Don’t wait for the unpredictable to find out how your insurance policy can work for you. Whether you need to find out how auto claims filing works, or how to make a homeowner’s insurance claim, the step-by-step process should be clearly laid out when you purchase insurance. At Insurance By Phone, your independent agent can provide you with the information you need to quickly address life’s major and minor mishaps.
From Fender-Benders to Major Collisions: The Auto Insurance Claims Process
The reason your liability auto insurance is mandatory in the state of Colorado is that increasing drivers on the road means to inevitable automobile collisions. Your liability insurance ensures that when you are at-fault in an accident, your coverage will help pay for damage to other vehicles and the medical costs of other parties. In this instance, you will need to provide law enforcement and/or other drivers with your insurance information. The affected party will file the claim, and you will need to provide as much detailed information about the accident as possible, including time and date, location, and other relevant information.
Filing a claim on your comprehensive auto insurance policy is much different. Depending upon your coverage, your insurance provider may help pay for expenses above and beyond another driver’s liability coverage. If you file a claim in an accident where you are determined to be at-fault, your own collision coverage will take effect. Most companies allow you to begin the auto claims filing process online or over the phone. For either step, you will need to provide your claims agent with as much information as possible. Your provider may then choose to further investigate the claim to determine liability and coverage based on your policy. Here are a few things that help claims adjusters determine how and when your coverage will take effect:
- Police reports. If applicable, a police report can have a profound effect on the claims process. Law enforcement personnel that witness to or are quickly at the scene of an accident examine damage and take statements from all involved parties. Police reports can be very effective in resolving disputes over fault quickly.
- Accurate records. When fault is not readily apparent, and no police report is available, your claims adjuster will investigate the claim by taking statements from involved parties and taking pictures of the damage. If you support this investigation with any applicable piece of information, you can assist your adjuster to reconstruct the accident accurately.
- Timeliness. You will need to file your claim as quickly as possible. Most insurance companies provide phone numbers or online access that can allow you to contact a claims associate 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. You may also be asked to provide timely estimates from an approved repair shop.
Homeowner’s Insurance Claims Made Easy
The process of filing a homeowner’s insurance claim can be even more daunting for policyholders. Again, timely claims filing is important. Many policies provide time limits for filing claims, and when it comes to damage to your home or liability, filing immediate notice of a claim may be difficult. Your independent insurance agent can help you go over your homeowner’s insurance claims process when you agree to coverage. That way, you can be prepared ahead of time in the event of fire, weather, or theft/vandalism that causes property damage.
In terms of catastrophic damage to your home, your mortgage lender is vested in making sure your coverage covers replacement. When you decide on policy coverage for your (and your lender’s) property, it is important to determine the cost of replacement so that you can plan accordingly for any rebuilding that needs to be done. Your policy is generally filled with legalese and language that protects the interests of your carrier. However, they are required by law to provide you with simple, easy to read information about your policy and the claims filing process.
Independence and Information
Don’t overlook the importance of learning about claims filing information when you decide on your auto or homeowner’s policy. The insurance marketplace is increasingly competitive, giving you more power in determining the right kind of policy with accessible claims service. Your independent agent can help you shop multiple offers, not simply to find you the cheapest premium, but also to find you the policy that will work for you in the event of an accident.