What Happens When I Make an Insurance Claim?
Hello, my name is Jerry Becerra, I’m with Barbary Insurance Brokerage, and today we’re going to be talking about a number of property and casualty insurance issues. So people ask me what happens when I make an insurance claim? And it sort of depends on the type of claim. But lets start with a property claim. If it’s a property loss the first thing they’re going to do is take your statement by phone or perhaps in person. Then they’re going to do an investigation of the claim. At that time they’re going to also ask you for what’s called “a statement of loss”, which is actually a list of all the items that were missing or destroyed or somehow damaged. And that list, usually they send it to you twice. They’ll send it to you the first time to go over it and then you’ll have time after that to fill in things that you might have forgotten. Because a lot of people, when the first loss happens to them they’re not really prepared with everything that they’ve lost and they’ll notice things even a week or two or three weeks later that need to be included. This brings up another issue with regard to property claims. It’s very important to have good records, because if you don’t have good records about what you’ve got it’s very hard to recover and then people get very upset with their insurance company and think that, my goodness they didn’t really pay everything. But if you don’t have the records it makes it difficult. So if you’re in business, having a record of your inventory and your income is extremely important. If you’re talking about insuring your home just good photographs. Take digital photos of each room from every angle and keep them someplace safe because that can really help you because there’s a lot of information there that can help you recover. In a liability claim it’s a little different because liability is there to defend you. The first thing it’s going to do is defend you in court. The second thing that it’s going to do is pay damages. So people think, oh my God somebody is threatening me. They’re going to just pay this. They might, insurance companies will pay claims if they’re small claims just because it can be so expensive to take them to court. But if it’s a large enough demand the first thing the policy is going to do is provide you with counsel, an attorney to represent you, and secondly it’s going to pay damages if you lose in court. If there’s offers to settle you need to seriously consider the offers because sometimes the insurance company has a right to settle and if you decline you may be on the hook for any losses above the amount they could have settled for. So take those offers very seriously. If you make an insurance claim, most important thing to do is work closely with your insurance adjuster, provide all the information they need, and cooperate through the process. You’ll have the best results as long as you work closely and have good information for them.