Top 8 Insurance Claim Tips

Top 8 Insurance Claim Tips

Navigating the insurance claim process is a daunting task for any policyholder. But with the help of a knowledgeable agent and these valuable tips, you can minimize the hassle and get the compensation you deserve.

Documentation is key—from police reports to receipts and eyewitness testimony. Be honest and accurate. Concealing information or misrepresenting facts can raise suspicion and may even lead to a denied or contested claim.

1. Stay calm and polite

Keeping your cool during an insurance claim process can greatly increase your chances of a fair settlement. Insurance adjusters may use various tactics to scare you into accepting a low offer.

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They know that you’re probably angry about your injuries and loss of property, anxious to get back into your home or car, and frustrated by the delay in processing your claim. They also know that taking your anger out on them will only serve to slow down the process and hurt your chances of receiving a fair settlement.

Remember the old adage: you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Stay calm and polite during all interactions with an insurance adjuster.

2. Be persistent

When you cash your insurance premium checks, the insurance company promises you three things: peace of mind, loss reimbursement and prompt claim service. It isn’t unreasonable to expect them to fulfill these commitments.

The best way to combat stalling tactics is persistence and consistent communication with your adjuster. If you aren’t getting the results you want from your interactions, try contacting their supervisors and sending written correspondence asking for a response within a certain time frame (e.g., 10 days).

Remember, insurance adjusters are trained to work against policyholders. They’ll often use manipulative tactics such as:

3. Keep good notes

Using notes to memorialize conversations with insurance representatives is more reliable than relying on memory. During a court case, a judge or jury will place more weight on a claimant’s testimony that matches their notes versus what they’re recalling off the top of their head.

Insurance companies can also use handwritten notes to reach out to customers at key moments – like their policy anniversary – or at times when they’ve made a purchase with them. These personal touches will help to build relationships with your customer base and keep them engaged. They can even lead to referrals.

4. Don’t sign anything until you’re sure you understand it

Insurance companies can be difficult to work with, but it is possible to file a successful claim and get all the compensation you are entitled to. Knowledge, organization and clear communication are the keys to success.

Familiarize yourself with your policy before a loss occurs, especially the dollar amounts of coverages and “endorsement” codes (found on the declaration page). Do not sign anything that you have not read. Do not be afraid to ask questions, either verbally or in writing. It is your money and you deserve to know exactly what you’re getting into.

5. Document everything

When dealing with insurance claims, high-quality documentation can make a big difference. Take detailed pictures and videos of all damage, including areas you can’t see. Save receipts for items you need to replace and any living expenses incurred while your home is being repaired.

Maintain records of any conversations you have with insurance company representatives, noting their names, phone numbers and job titles. Also keep track of documents you receive from the insurance company, such as policy information, agreement forms and adjuster notes.

This helps to avoid misunderstandings and delays in the claim process. Plus, it can help you level the playing field when fighting for your rights against an insurer trying to cut corners or deny a valid claim.

6. Stay on top of the process

Documentation, communication and staying on top of the process are essential to a smooth insurance claim experience. Familiarity with your policy (especially coverage limits, deductibles and exclusions) helps prevent mistakes that could cause a denial.

It’s also important to be aware of the insurance company’s attempt to delay you. For example, some adjusters will call you only to leave a voicemail and never return your phone calls. Document each time this occurs in a journal, spreadsheet or by sending a letter, fax or email. Doing this will ensure the insurance adjuster is accountable for his or her actions. Then you can take legal action if necessary. This tip comes from United Policyholders.

7. Be patient

Consumer advocates recommend that people discuss their insurance policies with agents long before they need to file a claim. This helps to ensure that policyholders understand what is covered and what isn’t.

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Also, remember that insurance adjusters are not your friends. They are working to save money for their employers – for-profit companies that must pay the bills at the end of the day. Understanding this and following these valuable tips can help you make the most of your homeowner’s insurance and maximize coverage when a disaster strikes. Hopefully you will never need to use these insurance claim tips, but they are helpful to have in case the unexpected occurs.

8. Negotiate

In the insurance claim process, you will likely have to negotiate with an adjuster. You can increase your odds of a successful claim by understanding your insurance policy, documenting all expenses and damages, and being prepared for negotiations.

You should approach your insurance claims negotiation as a business transaction with a profit-oriented company. Be professional, respectful and eloquent while stating your case. Make it clear to the insurance representative that you are seeking fair compensation and stress the severity of your injuries and their long-term impacts on your physical and emotional health.

Generally, the back-and-forth of negotiating will take some time before you reach a fair settlement. If you feel your insurance company isn’t treating you fairly, consider contacting an attorney for assistance with a possible settlement.


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