Three Common Insurance Claim Mistakes
Filing an insurance claim can be a complicated process. A process that is only made worse by the fact that something bad had to happen in order for you to be filing in the first place. There are three types of mistakes that people make when filing an insurance claim: Filing an unnecessary claim, waiting too long to file a claim (or filing too soon), or not filing a claim at all!
Filing an unnecessary claim
When you pay for insurance it seems silly not to use it, right? However, you need to assess the damage and read your policy to make sure that it is economically and mathematically sound to file a claim. A general rule of thumb is to never file unless the claim amount is bigger than 3X the deductible because your premium will increase after filing the claim.
Waiting too long to file a claim, or filing too soon
An insurance company doesn’t usually put a time frame on filing a claim. They do encourage you to file “as soon as possible”, but no actual time limit is set. However, if your home has suffered significant damage, waiting too long to file a claim could raise concerns with your insurer. While you were procrastinating on filing a claim, further damage may have occurred because you haven’t fixed the old damage. Now you are looking at a bigger repair bill than you were right after the original damage was done, and your insurance company may raise an eyebrow and deem your claim invalid.
On the other hand, if you have been injured in an auto accident, or a slip and fall, waiting for a while to file a claim is quite common. Often, symptoms of an accident won’t show up for a few months and you don’t want to file a claim that doesn’t adequately cover or list all of the symptoms that you have suffered.
In either case, whenever you have been in an accident or damage has been done to your home or property, make sure you get proper documentation in the form of pictures or police reports to back up your claim if and when you decide to file.
Not filing a claim
If small damage has been done to your home that you can easily fix yourself, then no claim is necessary. However, if there has been an accident that involves another person, like an auto accident, you should never make the mistake of handling the situation yourself. It doesn’t matter how tiny the fender bender, always get a police report and inform your insurance provider. If the other person decides to file a claim and start adding to the charges, you may have a hard time proving your case if you didn’t file an incident report immediately.
Get help from an independent agent when filing a claim
If you have been in an auto accident or suffered damage to your home or person, talk to your independent insurance provider about the best course of action. Remember, they work for you, not the insurance company and will always have your best interest at heart and will help you to avoid costly insurance claim mistakes.