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The steps to filing an insurance claim

Posted on Aug. 23, 2017

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been the victim of a recent, unfortunate event. Whether this event was a home robbery, a car accident, or the death of a close family member, you’ve now found yourself in a situation where you’ll need to deal with an insurance company.

 

Fortunately, the process of filing a claim couldn’t be easier.

 

Step one: report the incident

 

If you want money from your insurance company, the first step is to report the incident to your insurance broker. Call your broker and explain what happened. He or she will confirm whether or not you have insurance coverage for the incident and will guide you through the claims process.

 

Depending on the incident, your insurance broker can also tell you whether your insurance policy covers a rental car (if you’ve had a car accident) or hotel costs (if you’ve had a house fire).

 

Step two: personal injury claims

 

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor might be required to fill out a medical report and later, additional forms as required by the insurance company.

 

Step three: mitigate damages

 

Regardless of the incident, you have a responsibility to mitigate damages as much as possible. If you’ve had a house fire and can’t stay at your house, you should choose to stay at an affordable hotel—not the Ritz-Carleton—until you can move back home.

 

Mitigating damages is important because it demonstrates good faith to the insurance company. Plus, if your insurance claim is denied in part or in full, you will be responsible for your own expenses, so spend wisely.

 

Step four: speak with a claims adjuster

 

Once you’ve reported the incident to your insurance broker and gotten the metaphorical ball rolling on your claim, you will be assigned a claims adjuster. This person represents your insurance company and will ultimately play a major role in determining how much compensation you’re entitled to.

 

In order to assess your damages, the claims adjuster will contact you and ask you a variety of questions about the incident. These include factual information, statements and anything else required to create a detailed picture of the incident.

 

Step five: damage estimate and repairs

 

If your insurance claim is the result of a car accident, your insurance broker or claims adjuster may provide you with a list of approved auto body repair shops. These repair shops will provide a written estimate and may directly bill your insurance company for repair costs.

 

Step six: receive payout

 

Once your insurance claim has been reviewed by the claims adjuster, you could receive an insurance payout. If you’ve suffered from a house fire, this money might go straight to your mortgage company. If you’ve been in a car accident, your auto body repair shop might be paid directly by the insurance company. However, in the event of a life insurance payout or property theft claim, you will likely receive a cheque for your insurance payout.

 

The steps to filing an insurance claim are not complicated. You simply contact your insurance company to file a report and listen to his instructions. Visit a doctor if required, mitigate damages, bring your vehicle to an approved auto body shop—your insurance broker will help guide your through the claims process based on your specific situation and insurance policy coverage.

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