According to this article, there is some question as to whether these statistics reflect a true rise in crime, or whether LAPD is actually just more accurately reporting crimes as they happen. Either way, a higher crime rate states how important it is to be vigilant in locking doors, purchasing alarm systems, and insuring valuables.
But now, if something does happen and locks and alarms are bypassed, what do you do?
It’s especially difficult to imagine your reaction to a traumatic incident… We hope that everyone reading this email has never had to make an insurance claim after any such incident. But we also know that if you’ve never done it, you may not know how.
Here’s a short checklist of what to do in case you ever do need to make an insurance claim.
Making an insurance claim
Making an insurance claim is simple and stress-free – especially if you take things step-by-step and pay attention to the small details. These steps should generally apply to most types of insurance, including home, car, and travel. Filing a medical insurance claim can be slightly different, but we’ll cover that in another email.
Be prepared – keep good records
Keep your policy documents somewhere safe. Be sure that you’ve read through them and you understand what they cover and what is expected of you should you need to make a claim. If your insurance covers valuable objects like computers or jewelry, it’s a good idea to take a picture of them to demonstrate their condition. Also, whenever possible, keep receipts of things everything you insure.
Your claim – step by step
Step 1 – Report it
If your claim has anything to do with an accident, or if something has been stolen or vandalized, report it to the police immediately. Most policies have time limits and will not accept a claim if too much time has passed between the incident and calling the police.
Step 2 – Assess the Damage
If it’s a small incident that has occurred and you have a high deductible on your policy, chances are it’s not in your best interest to report a claim. The #1 question to ask yourself is: if I were to pay for this out of my pocket, how much higher than my deductible would it be? If the answer is an affordable amount, it might be best to fix the situation without involving your insurance. If it’s a large amount, insurance might be the route to take. Each case is unique, so the information in this email is general guidelines/suggestions.
Step 3– Check your policy and call the Insurance Company
Make sure that this incident is covered by your policy, and that you understand exactly the steps necessary to make the claim. If you’ve been in a hit-and-run and need to have body work done on your car, don’t just go to your local shop and get it done. Many policies require that you work with authorized repair shops. Confirm your next steps with the insurance company before moving forward.
Step 4 – Find all the documentation
Having everything on hand makes the whole process go more smoothly. You’ll need:
- Your policy document
- Receipts for anything stolen or damaged
- Reference numbers – for example, if you filed a police report
Step 5 – Get the facts straight
Remember: Answer all questions truthfully and carefully, and keep your own report of the circumstances of the incident.
It is important to write down the exact accurate account of what happened. Any change in your story can be seen as an inconsistency and could result in the insurance company refusing your claim. Make sure you know:
- Times and dates
- Details of everyone involved (the other party in a car crash, perhaps, or the plumber that fixed your burst pipes)
- Exactly what happened
- What you’re claiming for – how much money you expect to get
Step 6 – Did you buy your policy through The Point or another broker? Call us first.
If you purchased your insurance through The Point, we can walk you through the process of making your claim. This time can be very stressful and even confusing. If you have any questions, call us… We’re happy to help.
Step 7 – Don’t have a broker? Find your insurance company’s helpline.
This number will usually be listed on your policy document, and on the insurance company’s website. Be prepared to give all the details and information you worked out in steps 3 and 4.
A few more tips for getting your claim accepted
- Be very clear and precise when communicating details, so that there are no unanswered questions that could delay your claim, and stick to the facts. Insurance companies do have agents who investigate each claim, so it’s best not to take any chances.
- Document the claims process. Any time you talk to your insurance company, note down the date and time, the name of the person you spoke to and what was said. Keep any letters you’ve received, and copies of letters you send. Keep track of every email and letter.
If you stick to these instructions, your claim should be simple and stress-free. And if you ever have any questions, whether it’s about a policy you have with us or another, feel free to contact us.
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