Making an insurance claim: what to expect from your insurer?
It’s hard to stay level-headed when something unforeseen happens, let alone remember exactly how to
make an insurance claim and how the process works.
It’s important to know how making a claim works and what to expect in the unfortunate scenario where you do have to make a claim, especially as this can be a stressful situation to be in. Sometimes, claims are preventable. Other times, they aren’t. This is when you’ll thank yourself for having purchased insurance.
Top Reasons for Claims in 2021
Technically, a claim can happen for any reason – but the most common claims, as of the year 2020, are:
• Wind damage
• Auto theft
Reporting a claim
When you report a claim (either to your broker or directly to your insurance company), an insurance
adjuster should call you within the following 2-4 hours to ask about all the details the incident.
What happens next?
- After calling your insurance company, you will be asked to go to a recommended auto body shop to receive an estimate of the damages. If you prefer a different body shop, your insurer will need to send an appraiser to inspect your vehicle and estimate damages.
- Your vehicle gets repaired – if you have rental coverage you can use a rental vehicle while your car is being repaired.
- However, if your vehicle is a write-off, your insurance company will determine an “Actual Cash Value” of your vehicle at the time the loss occurred and send you an offer accordingly. Generally, most providers will allow you to use a rental vehicle for up to three days following the offer. If you have purchased a waiver of depreciation endorsement, you may have your claim settled at the actual purchase price of the vehicle and any equipment inside, by the cost of replacing the vehicle with an identical one that is equipped similarly, or by the manufacturer’s suggested market value on the same date as your car was purchased. Generally, your insurer will choose the lowest of these options.
- Note: if the loss was due to car theft, an insurer will typically wait between 7-30 days to see if your vehicle can be recovered. If unrecovered, your vehicle’s value will be determined as described above. If it is recovered, the damages as a result of theft will be covered by your policy.
- An adjuster or contractor (or both) will come to your property to determine the overall damage and take pictures/document the process. Anything you can provide at this time will be helpful in expediting the claims’ process. Consider offering pictures of pre-damage or documentation of items owned, like receipts or otherwise. If your claim is relatively minor, typically only a contractor will come, and an adjuster may handle the other side of things over the phone or by email.
- The insurance adjuster will review and estimate the necessary damage repairs.
- If your claim is approved, you can either hire your own contractor or enlist the aid of the insurance company’s contractor. (If you use your own contractor, their quote estimation and scope of work must be identical to that of the insurer’s contractor quote.)
- If any of your belongings have been damaged, you may need to provide a list of what was damaged with proof (receipts and images). Depending on your policy, you should receive replacement items of similar or identical quality. Once these are replaced, you will receive your reimbursement or the option of a cash-out between 75%-85% of the replacement cost.
- After repairs/rebuilding has been completed, the adjuster will issue a final payment once you have signed a completion certificate and the adjuster has inspected repairs to ensure they were done up to standard.
Talk to our expert broker about your insurance needs today!.