When something happens where you need to file a claim with your insurance company, there are some mistakes that can cause your claim to be denied. The following are some of the more common mistakes you can make when filing an insurance claim.
Not Hiring a Public Adjuster
A public adjuster is your best advocate in an insurance claim. They are experts in their field and they know how to handle your insurance company to get you the maximum payout you are owed. A public adjuster will help you with all of the paperwork and make sure everything is put together properly for your insurance company. They are trained to navigate an insurance policy and on how to negotiate with an insurance company. Without a public adjuster, you may end up getting lowballed by your insurance company and not getting anywhere near that amount you are owed.
Making Repairs Before Documenting Damages
When something has happened to your home, you might want to move quickly to get those repairs underway, which is understandable. However, starting repairs before you have your damages fully documented can cost you a lot of money. If you cannot prove to your insurance company what was damaged because you got a head start on your repairs, your claim could be denied or delayed.
Before you make any repairs, you must take the time to photograph and/or take videos of the damages. Without proper documentation, you may not be able to prove the damages properly, and your insurance company may deny your claim for prejudicing their opportunity to investigate.
Procrastinating Filing Your Claim
No one wants to deal with their insurance company, and the claims process is known to be a headache, so you may be tempted to put it off for a little while. The problem here is that it is easier to get your claim going when the damages are fresh. Even if you document the damage thoroughly, the insurance company might make things difficult if you wait, since they cannot see the damages shortly after they occurred.
Not Retaining Damaged Property
You probably want to throw away something that has been damaged after you file your insurance claim, but your insurance company may want to inspect it again later on. If you throw it away, they cannot do that. This is harder to do if it is your entire house that has been damaged and you need to clear away the debris before you can begin to rebuild. However, it is easier to hold on to things if your home is vandalized or a window breaks during a storm resulting in damaged furniture or other household items. If you are unsure if you can throw something away, speak with your public adjuster before doing so; they will be able to tell you if you should hang onto something or if it is likely safe to get rid of.
Paying Out of Pocket on a Third-Party Claim
Let’s say you’re a business owner and a customer gets injured on the premises, and the injuries do not seem too severe. You may think it is okay to just pay out of pocket for their expenses instead of filing a claim with your insurance company and waiting around for them to process it. You absolutely should not do this.
Injuries that seem minor in the beginning might end up being something more serious that is noticed later on down the line. If you did not file with your insurance when the injury first happened and the injured person is suddenly needing more expensive medical bills covered, you may run into some trouble with your insurance company. Not filing as soon as possible can result in delayed or non-payment.