The Claims Process Explained

Filing a claim with an insurance company can be a trying experience if you’re not used to doing it. That’s because there are certain steps and timelines, and if they’re not adhered to, it can result in a delayed settlement or even a claim being denied. At Second Opinion Claims Services, we know the claims process because we’ve been helping business owners and homeowners file their claims for over 30 years. And while every policy is different, here’s a breakdown of the most common steps.

Notify Your Insurance Company

The first thing you should do is notify your insurance company that your property has been damaged. They will likely send out an adjuster to see the damage, and you don’t want to wait until, for example, the flood waters have receded.

File a Police Report

If your claim involves vandalism or theft, the first thing you should do is file a police report because your entire claim will be based on it. Make sure that every item that was stolen or damaged is listed on the report, then request a copy of it.

Take Preventative Steps

If you have damage to your home, be sure to do what you can to ensure that the damage doesn’t get worse. If you need to call in a contractor to do temporary repairs, be sure to keep the receipts. If you don’t take actions to stop further damage from happening, it could cause the insurance company to deny your claim.

Review Your Policy

Every policy lays out time limits that certain actions must be taken by, and if they’re not, it could cause the claim to be denied. You’ll also need specific claim forms from your agency and need to know the specifics for filing them. What’s more, you’ll have to have a good understanding of what types of coverage you have, the limits and what types of exclusions are listed in your policy.

Document the Damage

If you can take photographs or video record the damages, it will make the claims process go smoother. Take meticulous notes and keep a list of missing or damaged items.

Gather Your Records

You’ll need receipts, photographs and videos of the items that were damaged. In addition, gather together any documentation that showed your home’s condition before the disaster. You’ll want the insurance company to have a clear picture of what it looked like before it was damaged.

Meet with Your Insurance Company’s Adjuster

You insurance agency will send out an adjuster who will record the damage to your property. Remember, this person works for the insurance agency and you will likely want to have your own public adjuster review the damage as well.

Call in the Contractors

You’ll need to get a couple of written estimates from reliable contractors about what it will cost to repair the damage. The estimates should be detailed—showing an itemized list of exactly what will be used and the price of all the labor listed separately. Keep copies of these estimates for yourself.

Call Us to Make it Easier

For most people, the process of filing a claim can be quite overwhelming. We can help. Our expert public adjusters can do most of the work for you, and that will ensure that your claim is filed correctly and on time. Here are some of the ways we can help:

• We’ll review your policy to determine exactly what type of coverage you have so you’ll know what to expect from you insurance agency.
• We’ll give you referrals to qualified and trusted contractors who will give you an honest written estimate. We have an approved list of contractors who you can trust.
• We’ll adhere to the timelines that your policy dictates, and make sure that the insurance company doesn’t miss any of their deadlines.
• We’ll negotiate with the insurance company to ensure that you get a fair settlement. We understand the insurance company’s first offer is just that—an offer. We’ll keep at it until they pay you what they should.

Call Us Now

The claims process can be complicated, but when you hire us, we’ll make it easy. Because we’ve worked with claims for over 30 years, we understand how to streamline the process and get the best results. Call us today for help.