We all pay a lot of money into insurance schemes so that when the worst happens, we don’t have to pay for the damage. But what if after all that money you’ve poured in, the insurance companies still refuse to pay up? A single clause or error on our part can cause a claim to be denied – something which can be extremely frustrating. It’s like investing in the safety net, only for that net to have a hole in when you fall.
It’s for this reason that you’ve got to be sharp and resourceful when filing a claim. Those crafty insurance companies can only do so much to avoid paying – in the end, the client always has the upper hand. Here is how to take on the insurance companies and win.
When disaster strikes – whether you’ve just been involved in a car accident or had your house burgled – you must notify your insurance provider straight away, even if you don’t make a claim immediately. Insurance companies may want all the details before paying up. If you wait a couple of weeks, certain details may not be as fresh in your mind. Many companies have a deadline of a month – if you try and file a claim after that it will be automatically rejected. Similarly, for theft, make sure that you notify the police within 24 hours. Failure to notify the police within this period will result again in the insurance companies rejecting your claim.
Gather photographic evidence
The best way to support a claim is to gather photographic evidence. If a flood has wrecked your home or a vandal has smashed your car windows, make sure to take individual snaps of every single piece of damage that will have to be paid for. Do this before any repairs are made (you shouldn’t make any repairs until your claim has been accepted).
Hire legal help
Sometimes for assurance, it pays to hire legal help. Different lawyers and representatives will specialize in different areas, for example with the damaged property you need to hire a public adjuster, whereas for a car crash you may need a car accident lawyer or a personal injury attorney. Having a legal representative can help you to unpick the complicated clauses and loopholes that sometimes accompany insurance policies.
Once you’ve made a claim, keep up to date with its progress to avoid the insurance company putting it on the backburner and effectively ignoring your claim. By hounding them, you will show that you are serious about getting your money. Ask for a timescale to know how long the process is likely to take. You can then make plans in the meantime, such as arranging alternative transport to work if your car has been damaged, or putting in plastic sheets to replace windows. As already mentioned, avoid making repairs until you’ve got your money – if you make repairs and complication occurs that requires you to collect more evidence like another photo or extra details, you may not be able to comply if the damage has been fixed.