Claims happen in life. They are a part of the insurance process. There are certain actions, however, that some insureds take when they have a claim that are not prudent and in turn can cause an already difficult situation to become a disastrous one. Hello. I’m Chip Fridrich and today I will present you with five typical things that insureds often do incorrectly when a claim occurs. Hopefully, these examples will be helpful so if you are ever involved in any type of insurance claim you will know what not to do.
Example number one – you suspect that you might have damage to your home or your car, but you put it off and then more ensuing damage occurs. Here’s some advice – either turn in the claim and go through that process after consulting with your agent or get it fixed independently. But don’t do nothing – especially when there’s the possibility that the situation could worsen by your inactivity.
Another example – you have damage to your home or auto and you have repairs made – and then you turn in the claim to the insurance company after the fact. Insurance companies do not like this at all. They want to have the damage looked at by an adjuster or they at least need to document the claim with photos and statements by the insured.
Here’s another example that I have seen a few times as well. Let’s say you turn in a claim for damage to your home. We will use a roof that was heavily damaged by hail as an example. The insurance company pays you a settlement for the replacement, and then you do nothing. In other words, you keep the money. You have to understand that the claim will show up on your insurance record down the road and will be a major issue if you try to sell your residence in the future. There will definitely be some explaining to do. Not only is this not smart, it could be interpreted as insurance fraud which could lead to problems much more severe than a damaged roof.
Example number four – you are in a car accident, and it is questionable as to whose fault it is but you admit fault because you feel badly about the wreck. This is not advisable. Unless the accident is one hundred percent obvious to you that you were the party at fault, you should not admit guilt at any time after the accident. There could be circumstances that caused fault that you were not aware of and those can be sorted out by witnesses or the responding police officer.
The final example I will use involves the failure of an insured to prevent further damage after a claim occurs. This is your obligation under the language of the policy. If you have a roof leak, efforts should be made to prevent additional damage (or damage unrelated to the original claim) until repairs are made by tarping it, for example.
Once again, I will re-state – claims happen and there’s no denying that. I hope that some of these tips will help you navigate the process a bit easier so your experience will be a smooth one.
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