Most Texans only make three to four claims their entire life. Making a claim can be a tedious and frustrating process. Below are some tips one of our agents came up with to help you with your home and auto claims.
- Gather as much information as possible at the scene of the accident. Information includes the other driver’s contact info, the other driver’s insurance information, the other ‘s vehicle’s VIN#, and pictures of the damage.
- Call the police to the scene. Even if the vehicles are driveable or no one is injured, it may still be a good idea to contact the police for a statement. Even more so if the other driver is not cooperating with you. You may even want to interview witnesses and get their contact information. The more you gather now, the less work you will need to do later to prove what happened.
- Call your insurance company and the other driver’s company. Do not try to settle the incident outside of insurance. Some people cannot be trusted. Call your company to make a claim then contact the other driver’s insurance to make a claim. You want their company to get the correct story. You will want to do this as soon as possible to get your car back faster.
- Prepare your statement. Make sure you get your story straight before you make a recorded statement. If the adjuster calls for the statement and you are not ready let them know so you can record at another time. Never admit fault in the statement. It is up to company to decide.
- Use a network shop or a shop you really trust. If you use a in network repair shop, the repairs will be guaranteed and the claim will move faster. Some companies will even have a rental car meet you there. If you just bought the vehicle, taking it back to the dealership for repairs may also make the process faster. You will also receive original parts. Be careful choosing a shop out of network! The insurance company will not reimburse you if the repairs are done incorrectly at an out of network shop.
- Move claim adjusters if there is a problem. If your claim adjuster is rude, slow, or not doing their job correctly it is okay to ask to be switched to a new adjuster. Some adjuster may be having issues in their life right now that causes poor customer service.
- Contact your agent to expedite a claim. Your Milestone agent will have access to contacts at each company to move things forward faster. If you are confused about the claim status or the adjuster seems to be taking way to long to get back to you feel free to contact us to push things forward.
- Negotiate the settlement. If you think the claim settlement is not correct, you are well within your rights to dispute the amount. Keep in mind, most companies are going to do their research and it will take evidence to move them another way.
- Seek out an insurance lawyer if you were wronged in a claim. Most claims will not come to this, but if you feel like your insurance company or the other company is being unreasonable or has done something wrong you are well within your rights to seek legal consultation.
- Prepare for future claims before they happen. We live in an unpredictable world. It is best to be prepared for claims before they happen. Make sure you have adequate coverage by reviewing your policy with your agent. Take pictures of your high priced personal property and try to keep receipts. Make sure your expensive jewelry, watches, furs, and firearms are covered with blanket coverage or are scheduled. Have enough money in your savings to cover you deductible. This may be a good rule of thumb for your auto deductible. Some package policies only subject you to one deductible.
- Prevent further damage. After an incident. You need to prevent further damage. Move personal property away from the affected area and turn off the water if needed. If you cannot stay there, let your insurance company know so they can arrange a place for you to stay.
- Check on your deductible. Make sure your deductible is low enough to cover the extent of the damage before you make a claim. A small amount of damage may not be worth getting the insurance company involved.
- Contact your insurance company. Call your insurance company to get the process started.
- Use a recommend contractor or one of your choosing. The insurance company will usually have a network of contractors or will let you choose your own. Some contractors will even eat your deductible for your business.
- Provide all the necessary information to your claim adjuster as soon as possible. The longer you wait to get your personal property loss information over to the adjuster the longer it will take to be made whole again.
- Move claim adjusters if there is a problem (See auto claims).
- Contact your agent to expedite a claim (See auto claims).
- Negotiate the settlement (See auto claims).
- Seek out an insurance lawyer if you were wronged in a claim (See auto claims).
Contact us for more information. We are always available to help with your claim needs.