Share, , Google Plus, Pinterest,


Posted in:

To file, or not to file

What you should know before making an insurance claim

It’s never enjoyable to have to make an insurance claim. However, if you must file a claim, here are a few things to know:

• Review your policy before you file a claim to be certain there may be coverage. Each policy provides for coverage in the event a covered peril causes damage to your property. Familiarize yourself with the coverages, deductibles, exclusions, limits and conditions. If you have any questions or need clarification, contact your agent.

• If you file a claim, you must provide accurate and complete information. Be honest and transparent throughout the process. Be responsive to questions, and be prepared to provide documentation about your claim and repairs, such as pictures and receipts for payments. Provide accurate and detailed information about the incident, including dates, times and any other relevant facts. Be sure that your mortgage loan information is accurate so there are no problems when a check is sent for the settlement. The settlement will be payable to both you and your mortgage holder(s), so you will need to work with them to obtain the funds.

• Report your claim to your agent or insurance company as soon as possible after the loss. Your policy has a time limit on how late a claim can be turned in. The claims procedure is typically included with your policy information, including whom to contact and what information will be needed. Keep a record of all communication with your insurance company, including names, dates and details of conversations.

• Do not complete repairs prior to your adjuster having seen the damage; this likely will void your claim. You are expected to make temporary repairs to keep damage from getting worse, but the adjuster will need to document the extent of the damage to calculate the expected settlement offer.

• Treat your adjuster like a good friend; you want an amicable relationship. Avoid being demanding or annoying. Typically, adjusters are very nice people with a huge workload. If you are willing to be patient, they will take care of you. Plan to keep in touch with them only once per week to work together to get the claim closed and your repairs expedited.

In most cases, the claims process works, and you will get your property repaired. The whole process takes longer than anyone likes, but it usually works. In those few cases where outside legal assistance is required, you will have time to start this process after the initial claims process is complete.

Written by Angelyn Treutel Zeringue

Angelyn Treutel Zeringue is President of SouthGroup Insurance Services, a CPA, PWCAM, CBIA and licensed Trusted Choice Insurance Agent. Reach her at, (228) 385-1177 or

42 posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *