The Insurance Claim Process Explained
No one expects to face perils, but unfortunately, accidents happen, and sometimes things go sideways. Your property has been damaged, and you’re left rattled, dealing with the aftermath. If you’re lucky, you have insurance to cover the loss. Even then, filing an insurance claim can be complicated and time-consuming. What next? What is the first step in processing a claim? Where do you start, and who do you reach out to?
Insurance claims are complex but shouldn’t be stressful or confusing. You don’t have to walk this road alone, either. Elite Resolutions is a team of highly-trained and experienced public adjusters you can lean on to recoup your losses and help you recover in no time. No need to walk in the dark or get caught off guard. Learning how the property damage insurance claims process works can save you a lot of headaches – and money down the line.
Read on as we shed some light on the matter and break down the claims process step-by-step, so you can get the full picture of what to expect during your claim and how it all works.
Learning the Ropes:
What Is an Insurance Claim?
An insurance claim is a policyholder’s request to the insurance company after experiencing a loss covered by their insurance policy.
For example, if a private property is damaged by fire or flood and the homeowner is insured, they can file a claim to have the insurance company cover the cost of the necessary repairs. Insurance claims can be filed for various reasons, including property damage, accident-related injuries, yearly medical checkups, and life insurance benefits.
Why Is the Insurance Claim Process Important?
An insurance claim acts as a “safety net” against property damage and other financial losses. Significant unforeseen expenses caused by accidents, natural disasters, vandalism, and other uncertainties life can throw at us can cause a cascade of problems and distress.
Insurance claims can provide relief in the aftermath of such unfortunate events, entitling you to the compensation you need to get back on your feet.
How Insurance Claims Work and When You Can File One
The so-called “coverage trigger” is the event that must occur so that a liability policy could be applied to a given loss. Under a valid insurance policy, the occurrence of injury or damage is the trigger for starting a claim process, and liability will be covered under that policy if the injury or damage occurred during the policy period.
The time frame for filing an insurance claim might vary by state and policy terms. However, you are usually required to make your claim “promptly” or “within a reasonable time.” Filing a claim as soon as possible after a loss event takes place is highly encouraged to preserve more evidence and increase your chances of a fair settlement.
How We Get It Done: Insurance Claim Process Step-by-step
Filing an insurance claim can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be – we’re here to help. To give you a better understanding of the insurance claims process, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having to file an insurance claim, by following these simple steps or hiring our team of skilled public adjusters to do all the heavy lifting for you and take the weight off your shoulders, you can make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.
1. Reporting the Incident
When loss or damage under an insurance policy occurs, the first step is to report the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Ensure you have all the relevant information on hand, including the date, time, and location of the incident, as well as any witness statements and/or photographs of the property and the resulting damages or losses.
Any loss or damage caused by theft or burglary should be reported to the local authority, and a copy of the police report should also be obtained to be used as evidence for the claim.
2. Protecting and Documenting the Damaged Property
While we can’t control unforeseen events, there are steps we can take to minimize the damage. Protecting the property from any further damage and preserving evidence for the insurance claim should be your priority. Depending on the type of damage, this may mean covering broken windows, removing damaged belongings from the premises, or securing the property.
It’s also important to document the damage with photos or video evidence before making any repairs to mitigate the loss/damage and keep receipts for any materials you purchase. We recommend waiting until your claim is closed to start major repairs to ensure a realistic estimate.
By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your property is protected and that you have the evidence you need to make a successful insurance claim or help us fight for the maximum compensation you’re entitled to.
3. Inspection and Property Damage/Condition Assessment
If you choose to work with us, we will sit down and interview you to get the full picture of the situation and explain the entire process from start to finish. Where on-site surveying of damage is required, we will visit and inspect your property to determine the claim value and document all the evidence.
We are not IAs – we need to inspect everything, not just what our clients show us. We are the experts and, thus, might notice damages that often get overlooked and take a trained eye to spot. Once we fully inspect the property damage, we can scope and estimate the repairs. When necessary, we will include experts in our estimation.
Over the years, we have built a tight-knit network of some of the industry’s leading contractors to uncover the true extent of damages and fair compensation. Whatever the type or extent of property damage, we’ll provide you with the best person for the job and peace of mind knowing your property is in good hands, meaning there’s one less thing for you to worry about.
4. Preparing the Documentation
To speed up and support the claims process, you’ll need to gather all the necessary documentation.
A copy of your Declarations Page is by far the most crucial piece of document we need for our file. Any letters or emails sent to you by your insurance company would be greatly appreciated. Also, any repair invoices, proposals, or contractor reports help us a great deal in getting your claim resolved.
5. Filing the Insurance Claim
Once you have all the required documentation, you’ll need to file a formal insurance claim with your insurance company. If you hire us to manage your claim, we’ll handle everything on your behalf.
Here are the steps of the claim process we can handle for you:
- Filing the insurance claim
- Scheduling and attending all inspections
- Weekly follow-ups with the insurance company
- Negotiation with the insurance company
You don’t have to be in touch with your insurance company and add any more stress to the situation. If you choose to work with us, we’ll handle all communication and negotiations to fight for the fair settlement you deserve.
The insurance provider is responsible for processing insurance claims. Once the investigation is complete, the insurer will review the claim and assess its validity. If it meets the terms and conditions stated in your policy, the insurance company will approve the claim.
Once approved, the compensation you are owed for the damage or loss covered by your policy will be paid to you by the insurer. The time it will take to receive the payment will depend on the complexity and severity of your situation – you might receive the payout upfront as a lump sum or through regular payments based on the terms of your policy.
As experienced property adjusters, we’re here to help you get the most out of your insurance claim – we’ll go the extra mile to make sure you get the amount you deserve. The Elite Claims process is something that has been crafted to perfection for the last 14 years and our specialists have tried and tested techniques for executing each claim in our client’s favor. We’re not settling for less than what is right.
If an agreement is unable to be reached, we’ll file an Intent to Litigate after preparing and receiving permission from the client for litigation and provide the insured with a list of attorneys.
Let Our Public Adjusters Handle Your Claim Process with Ease
As public adjusters, we work for you – not the insurance company.
Our mission is to protect your rights, ensure you’re compensated with the maximum appropriate amount, and get back on your feet in no time. You can count on our experts for advocacy and guidance throughout the negotiation and claims processes while we do everything in our power to fight for what you deserve.
Every claim is unique, and although the claims process can vary depending on the circumstances, our public adjusters will work around the clock to make see your case from start to finish. We execute – you get paid what you’re owed.