How to File an Insurance Claim // on Thursday October 22, 2015
No matter how careful you choose to live your everyday life, accidents happen. Sometimes, they’re unavoidable, and there will probably come a time when you will have to file an insurance claim.
Filing a claim isn’t a bad thing. You buy insurance to help protect you during times of loss. The claims process is designed to help you and your family return to pre-loss conditions, and continue living as if the loss never occurred. So when life throws you a curveball, such as a car accident, house fire or break-in, how exactly do you begin the claims process?
When an accident occurs, one of your first calls should be to your insurance agent or to the customer service center of your insurance carrier. Your insurance company should be informed of the accident, so they can begin the process on their end. When making the initial call or submission, be sure to include the following information:
- Contact information;
- Preferred way of contact;
- Best time to contact;
- Date of the accident;
- Type of accident; and
- Severity of damage.
After this information is provided, you will be contacted by an insurance adjuster. The adjuster is one who represents the insurance company, and their job is to serve as a channel between the customer and the company, and resolve the customer’s issue as quickly as possible. The adjuster will follow up to your claim submission with a few more questions and compile everything they need to create an estimate for damages. This will ultimately lead to you receiving a check. At GuideOne Insurance, it is expected that the customer is contacted by an adjuster within two business days or 16 business hours after submitting the claim.
Before you are contacted by an adjuster, here are some tips on what to have prepared for common types of claims:
- Auto Accident:
- Date of the accident;
- Sustained damage to vehicle;
- Indication of vehicle damaged; and
- Indication of persons injured.
- House Fire:
- Date of the fire;
- Cause of fire;
- Indication of persons home when accident occurred;
- Indication of persons injured; and
- Sustained damage to home.
- Theft or Burglary:
- Date of loss;
- How criminal entered the home;
- Items stolen or damaged; and
- Indication of other damage to property.
- Roof Damage:
- Date the damage occurred;
- Cause of the damage; and
- Sustained damage to roof.
The insurance adjuster may spend two to five business days collecting information to receive an estimate. Every loss is different, so the timeline of the entire claims process may vary. The more severe the damage or loss, the longer you can expect to wait. Across the entire insurance industry, the average time to resolve a claim is 10 to 14 days for auto and 16 to 20 days for property. However, at GuideOne Insurance, our average timeline is 10 to 12 days for auto and 13 to 15 days for property. We work hard to follow through on the promise from our agents – that you’ll be protected during times of loss and we’ll get you back to pre-loss conditions in a timely manner.
With any accident, it is understandable you may be stressed and in a hurry to return to normalcy. However, it is important to remember to remain patient. Your adjuster is doing everything they can to resolve the issue, and do it quickly. Patience and cooperation are the keys to a smooth claims experience.
This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.