When you find yourself with a situation on your hands (i.e., an insurance claim), you can only hope the process to resolve it will be less stressful than the situation itself.
“A tree fell on the roof our house. While I’m thankful everyone is okay, I’m dreading the next few weeks and months, dealing with getting it fixed.”
No one wants to file an insurance claim. But when you must, knowing how the insurance claims process works can alleviate some of the stress. Here’s what you can expect throughout the claims process.
When you experience an incident that might result in a claim, you need to report it as soon as you can. Most insurance policies contain a claims reporting provision that contractually obligates you to report an incident “as soon as practicable.” In our experience, early claims reporting often leads to better and more timely claim investigations resulting in quicker and less expensive resolutions.
“Early claims reporting often leads to better and more timely claims process,” Debra Robinson, our Claims Customer Success Manager.
Once the claim has been reported the insurance company may want to speak with you in more detail about the accident. At this point, you’ll be put in contact with an insurance adjuster who will compare the details of the loss to the policy language to determine what the policy covers. If the incident is not covered, an adjuster will send out a letter to explain why it’s not covered. If the claim is covered, you’ll move onto the next phase of the insurance claims process which determines the cost of the damage.
To get an accurate cost of the damages, most insurance companies will ask you to have your damaged property assessed by an expert. In the case of auto accidents, you may have to take your vehicle to a body shop to have them look in more detail at your damaged vehicle. Several insurance companies are coming out with mobile apps that allow you to take photos of the damage and send those photos to the insurance company. Photos always help insurance companies make a more accurate estimate of the damage.
Workers’ compensation claims are the main exception to this process. For the security of the employee’s personal information, to ensure a faster claims process, and to meet certain legal guidelines, the employer must report the claim within 24 hours directly to the insurance company, not involving an insurance broker.
Now if you made it this far in the blog post, let us offer you a few tips to make your claims process even smoother. When you have your insurance with Strate Insurance Group, we offer personalized claims service through every step of the process. Although we’ll eventually connect you with the insurance company, Debra, our Claims Customer Success Manager, will walk with you through each stage of the process. Debra’s sole responsibility is to be your guide and advocate. From helping you get the claim reported to ensuring you have smooth communication with the insurance adjuster, her job is dedicated entirely to claims. And once the claim is closed, we’ll follow up with a survey to make sure you’ve had the best possible experience.