Important Questions to Ask Before Filing an Insurance Claim
When unexpected events of life hit without warning, insurance claims can be a lifesaver. Car accidents, medical emergencies, or natural disasters can all cause calamity, financial strain if not disaster along with worry. Thankfully, filing an insurance claim to cover the program is a possibility if you have insurance protecting your assets. However, before filing an insurance claim, there are some important questions you should ask yourself beforehand, so you can make an informed decision on what to do next. Read on to learn more:
1. Is The Damage or Loss Covered by Your Policy?
The first question you need to answer before moving forward with a claim is whether or not your policy covers the damage that you are experiencing. To know this, review your policy and make sure that the wording allows for coverage of a particular asset or item before you begin filing a claim. This will save you some time and headache if you know ahead of time that something isn’t covered under your policy.
2. What is Your Deductible?
Your deductible, as you know, is the amount that you will have to pay out of your own pocket before your insurance will kick in and cover the rest. You need to know the amount you will have to come up with. It’s important to have enough money saved to pay this amount ahead of time before you ever need to utilize your policy. If you don’t, then making a change to a smaller deductible might be wise, although that will almost certainly increase premium costs. It’s also worth noting that many times your insurance company will just pay a claim less the amount of your deductible. That means they in essence just deduct the amount of your deductible from your payout and then send you a lesser amount. Either way, you are looking at paying the difference, so it’s good to have an idea of how much your deductible is and know if you can or cannot come up with that amount.
3. How Much Will Your Premium Increase?
In many cases, filing a claim with your insurance company will result in an increased premium. To determine how much you can expect your insurance to increase, you can ask your insurance company what increase to expect before filing a claim. In some cases, this might mean the difference between you filing a claim or paying for the cost of repair or damage yourself.
4. What is The Value of The Damage or Loss?
Make sure the value of the damage or loss is enough that it is worth filing a claim. If the cost or repair for a damaged item or assets is less than the amount of your deductible, you might be better off not filing a claim at all. You should also always consider— as mentioned before— the added cost of a raised premium as well. Therefore, knowing the value of your items is important before you file any claim to replace them.
5. Do You Have All The Necessary Documentation?
Before you begin the process of filing a claim, it’s important that you have all the necessary documentation in place. This can include documentation like receipts and photos that will support your claim. Gathering all this can be a job in and of itself, so make sure that you have this in order before you attempt to file a claim.
6. What is the Deadline For Filing a Claim?
Make sure you know the deadline for filing a claim after an incident. If you fail to file a claim within the deadline, this could result in your claim being denied. Therefore, make sure you know exactly how long you have to get together your information and do all the items listed above before that date arrives. While you don’t want to rush the process, obviously, you do want to ensure that you don’t wait too long and lose your ability to get the payout you deserve.
7. Should You Hire a Public Adjuster?
If the damage you have experienced is significant or if you are having trouble filing a claim with your insurance for a variety of reasons, you might want to consider hiring a public adjuster. They can help you file your claim. A public adjuster works on your behalf to negotiate a fair settlement with your insurance company. Although not needed on every claim, when the damage and loss are immense, it can be worth having this representation. Most public adjusters take a portion of whatever payout you get from your settlement. They can be fairly affordable and only demand around 3% of your settlement, while others can demand as much as 30%. Therefore, be sure you know ahead of time what you are getting with this, as you could pay out quite a bit if you get a substantial settlement.
Ask These Questions Before You File
In conclusion, before filing an insurance claim, it’s crucial to ask yourself the right questions to make an informed decision. Always remember to read your policy, understand your coverage, and make the right decision based on your specific situation. All insurance claims are not created equal. Therefore, you need to understand the value of your assets and have a good understanding of your insurance policy before you ever attempt to file a claim. At Arnold Insurance, we are happy to help you through this process as we truly care about each and every customer. Contact us today to learn more about the claim process.