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I’ve had a claim, now what?

By December 21, 2020No Comments

We know this can be a difficult, confusing, and stressful time.  If, at any time, you have questions or concerns, please give us a call!

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is an adjuster and when will here I hear from one? For most types of claims you will hear from an adjuster who works for the insurance company.  Their job is to investigate the situation, gather information from you, and to ultimately decide on how to resolve the claim.  Most companies try to have an adjuster reach out to you within 24 hours of the initial report.

 

  1. Is someone going to come and look at my damaged property? If there is property damage, the insurance company may send out an appraiser (I know, why didn’t they use a much different sounding name for this! ).  The appraiser’s job is to evaluate the damaged property and work to create an estimate on the cost to repair or replace it.  Sometimes they will simply give you their estimate and forward payment directly to you.  Other times the appraiser will have a conversation with the provider you chose, they may review other estimates you’ve obtained, or may talk directly to your body shop or contractor.  When the appraiser is done, they will send that information back to the adjuster.

 

  1. When do I get paid? Generally following the gathering of information, the company will make a payment to you.  If it is a very large claim, they have may offer to give you an initial amount, and then will finish making the payments after they are done with the review.

 

  1. I have a loan, like a mortgage or a car loan, what do I do then?  In these cases, the check will be written jointly to you and the finance company.  This is a provision of the insurance that the lender requires.  They want to make sure the work is done, and that they are informed about it.  If you are in this situation, even before you get that payment, reach out to your lender and let them know you had some damage.  You’ll want to find out how to get their release so you can deposit that insurance payment.

 

  1. I don’t agree with what the company is offering me! First step here is to evaluate the insurance company offer against the information you have.  Sometimes a call can clear up any miscommunications.  Also, the company may not have access to the same information you do.  If you have a conversation with the adjuster and can’t come to an agreement, there may be provisions in the policy where you can use your estimate, the company uses theirs, and then the two parties find a third party to decide on the amounts.  If you feel the amount being offered isn’t enough, please call our office right away and we can talk it through with you!

 

  1. This claim wasn’t my fault, what do I do?  In these cases, often you can approach the other company directly for payment.  You’ll need gather information some the party responsible such as insurance company name, policy number, etc.  The process works much the same as if you report were reporting directly to your insurance company.

 

  1. This claim wasn’t my fault, but I want to have my own company handle it. This can also be a very reasonable option.  If the cause of loss is clear, and the damage is relatively minor, reporting to the other company directly may be the easiest way to recover.  But if the damage is extensive, or if there is an argument on the cause of the loss, or you are injured, in those cases it is better to be working with your own company.  After the claim is resolved, if the other party is at fault, your company will work to collect a reimbursement from the other insurance company.  If they are successful, they will return your deductible.

 

  1. I’m a Pennsylvania resident and was injured in an automobile accident, who is going to pay my medical bills? In PA, if you are injured in, on, or around an auto (your own or any other vehicle), your auto policy would be primary for paying your medical costs.  If you did report to your Health insurance, they will eventually be working to be reimbursed by your auto policy.  In the claim process, it is very likely that you will have two different company adjusters, one that handles the damage to your car, and one that handles injury claims.

 

  1. If I turn in this claim, will my insurance rates go up? This can depend on a number of factors: What was the cause of the claim; how much was paid out on the claim; will we be able to recover from the other party; how many other claims have you had.  All of these factors are considered.  Please give us a call so we can discuss the details, and then we’ll work on your behalf with the company, making sure they understand exactly what happened and what steps you may have taken to prevent another loss.

 

  1. How do I know if my claim will be covered? Ultimately the company adjuster’s job is to determine if the insurance will apply.  However, we can also help discuss some of the more common terms of your insurance policy.  For example, if the claim was caused by wear and tear, parts of your property that simply wore out over time, often that kind of claim is not covered.  You may also have a time when the claim is covered, but the total amount of the loss is less than your deductible.

 

  1. The claim happened after normal business hours, or on a weekend, what do I do now?  For times when our office may not be open, and you need to report a claim right away, please check this link to our website that will give you contact information for our insurance companies.  If you do have to make a report after hours, please also give us a call when you can, so we can be ready to help you if there are any issues.  The link  https://sheeleyinsurance.com/about-our-agency/insurance-companies/

 

What happens if I need a rental car?  This is definitely a situation to discuss with the adjuster.  If your policy includes coverage for Rental reimbursement, the adjuster will discuss with you the damage to the auto, the estimate for how long it will take to repair, and generally how long you would be able to have a rental car.