What is an ‘Insurance Claim’
An insurance claim is a formal request to an insurance company asking for a payment based on the terms of the insurance policy. The insurance company reviews the claim for its validity and then pays out to the insured or requesting party (on behalf of the insured) once approved. Insurance claims cover everything from death benefits on life insurance policies to routine health exams at your local doctor. In many cases, third parties file claims on behalf of the insured person, but usually only the person(s) listed on the policy is entitled to claims payment.
A paid insurance claim serves to indemnify a policyholder against financial loss. An individual or group pays premiums as consideration for completion of an insurance contract between the insured party and an insurance carrier. The most common insurance contracts revolve around costs for medical goods and services, physical damage or liability resulting from the operation of automobiles, property damage or liability from home ownership, and the loss of life.
Why Insurance Claims Take Time
Both the claim adjuster and the claimant need to be available. Not answering the phone is a sure-fire way to delay a claim. It is a great idea to verify all of your contact information at the time of filing a claim. Double check your address and phone number on file.
Not Happy With Your Coverage:
Thought you had OEM coverage but your policy says you do not? Coverage discrepancies can certainly extend the claim process.
Not Happy with the Body Shop Repair:
Don’t like the paint job on your repair? Does something seem not right? Rushing through to get your car back is not a good idea. If you are not happy with your repair, it is best to point it out immediately to get it resolved.
Natural Disaster Claim:
Did a huge hail storm just come through the area? Is everyone dealing with the aftermath of a flood? Natural disaster claims often take longer because not only is the insurance company going to be backed up but so are the body shops.
Short on Cash:
You really can’t get your car insurance claim handled quickly when you do not have the cash for the deductible. Deductibles need to be paid at the time of repair. Plan on holding off on the repairs if you do not have the cash to get it done.
Lots of problems can occur during the claims process. If major problems arise, talk with your insurance agent they are a great resource if there is a problem. An agent can contact your claim representative or even the body shop on your behalf to help ensure the process goes as smooth as possible.
What to Do if It Is Taking Too Long
Sometimes, no matter what you do, the claim takes longer than you would like. The best thing you can do is have a backup plan.
Get a Rental Car:
It may not be ideal, but sometimes you have to get a rental car so you can get to work and pick up the kids from school. Make sure you select the proper coverage to protect the rental car while you are driving it.
Why do I need insurance?
Life turns on a dime. One can never predict when insurance will be needed. Many people only purchase insurance when it’s required, like when they’re buying a new home or car. Paying for insurance now even if it isn’t required by your state or lender can be an important safety net if the unexpected happens.
Here are some situations when insurance could protect you from a financial loss
An unexpected illness
Even if you’re in good health, an unexpected illness or injury could require you to pay out-of-pocket if you don’t have health insurance.
Natural disaster or home invasion
Homeowners and renters face the risk of their property being damaged by a natural disaster or a home robbery. If you are not insured, it may be costly to replace all of your belongings.
Loss of a loved one
It can be tough to think about, but being prepared for the loss of an income earner is the best way to protect your family. A life insurance policy may help loved ones start with a clean slate by helping to pay off the mortgage, credit card bills, outstanding loans, household bills, child care expenses, tuition, and final expenses, like funeral costs and taxes.
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