What You Need to Know When Filing an Insurance Claim
British Columbians are some of the most insured people in the world. Vehicle, house, life, credit card, health, and travel insurance are just a few of the many types of insurance policies we hold. When we purchase an insurance policy, we met with an insurance agent to discuss the specific type of coverage needed to insure our property and person. We leave the insurance agency feeling confident and reassured that we are protected. Right?
Due to no fault of your own, you find yourself having to make a claim. You should be able to rest in the fact you have done everything possible to protect yourself from a devastating loss. But, after you file your claim, an adjuster informs you that this specific claim is only partially covered, or even worse, you are not covered at all. How can this be? Stress and anxiety are at an all time high just trying to adjust your daily life following this disaster. Now you are left wondering why, and what should you do now? Why should you have to fight to have your insurance claim approved – you did everything you were advised.
Filing an Insurance claim
The first thing you need to know is that filing any insurance claim can be challenging, especially if it involves a large loss. There can be lengthy delays in getting your claim approved. In addition, you may experience disputes about how much your claim is worth, and to what your entitled. There can also be an excessive amount of paperwork necessary to file your claim. Another hurdle may be getting the recovery process even started – especially in the case of a house fire.
Secondly, it is important to understand that the insurance agent represents the insurance company’s interest, not yours. It is their job to mitigate the loss of the insurance provider. When you have a claim with significant loss it is best to get the advice of an insurance lawyer before you discuss your claim and settlement with your adjuster. Your lawyer will help you understand the small print of your policy. They will point out any clauses, coverage limits, and help you recover your losses either through mediation or if necessary, trial.
Information you should have ready in the event of a claim.
If you must make a claim, there are a few things that you can do to make sure that your property and valuables are adequately compensated for by your insurance policy, and adjuster.
Video tape a walk through of your home inside and outside. Make sure you include closets and cupboards. It is a good idea to record your contents each year when you renew your policy. Store a copy of the video in a secure, offsite location.
Scan and keep copies of receipts of your important property in a remote, safe location such as a safety deposit box
Have your jewelry, artwork, collectables, and heirlooms, appraised regularly. Clearly state these items on your policy. Take photos of the pieces noting their condition and make sure that replacement value of important items is recorded by an expert.
Other things you can do to keep track of your claim process is to:
- document your conversations with adjusters
- name of person you spoke with
- date and time
- conversation details
- keep email correspondence in a separate file
- ask for documentation on anything discussed
If you are filing, or negotiating a large claim, such as a personal injury, or a home lost in a fire, flood, or landslide, contact a Vancouver Insurance lawyer for help. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the event, the language used to explain your claim, and the entire claim process. Wishart Brain & Spine Lawyers are here to help you understand what your policy covers. Our team of experienced insurance lawyers will look at the fine print of your policy, and make sure that you get compensated appropriately. Let us take care of the details. Contact us today for a free consolation.