May 16, 2023
Insurance Claims: Tips For Filing & Maximizing Your Coverage
Property insurance claims can be complex. Whether you’re claiming with your home insurance company or even with Manitoba Public Insurance for your vehicle, understanding the insurance claims process can help you get the maximum amount for your claim.
In this article, we’re going to walk you through some of the steps you can take during the insurance claim process to ensure that your claim goes as smoothly as possible, from what you should document to whom you should hire:
The first step to getting the most out of your insurance claim is to document absolutely everything you can. Take pictures of all the damage you see. Keep every receipt for expenses that you incur during or after the event that you’re claiming for. Take notes about the actions you took to decrease the damage.
There are a few different ideas at play here. First, you may not know exactly what your policy covers—documenting everything gives you a better opportunity to claim all of the money you may be entitled to. Many insurance policies will, for example, cover additional living expenses, including food and hotels, if an event has caused enough damage to a home that it becomes unlivable.
Documenting everything also eliminates guesswork, both for the insurance company and for you. You’ll have hard evidence of what was damaged, which can expedite the process, and give you a better chance of claiming the maximum amount you’re entitled to.
Most insurance policies have a stipulation that you must file your insurance claim as soon as can reasonably be expected. Ideally, you’ll start the process of filing your claim while someone else documents damage and sorts out other logistics.
Mitigate Further Damage, Secure Your Premises
Obviously, you should use your best judgment here. Make sure that everyone is safe and that you’ve done what you could to mitigate further damage before filing a claim. If your home or business has been broken into, the first thing that you need to do is take steps to secure your premises. You can contact Nation West 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – we’ll send out our emergency repair contractors for you.
Understand Your Policy
The process of filing an insurance claim with your insurance carrier can get complicated. You may need to advocate for yourself while going back and forth with your claims adjuster. Knowledge is your greatest tool in the self-advocacy process, so we highly encourage you to read through your policy.
Understanding your policy means understanding policy limits, what is and isn’t covered, special coverages, and more. We know that this can be tricky—there’s a lot of legalese in some insurance policies. Don’t worry—we’re here to help. As Winnipeg insurance brokers, we understand insurance policies inside and out—we can help you decipher yours. We’ll be here for you throughout the entire claiming process.
Dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of different pieces of documentation may be involved in your insurance claim. These documents range from evidence of damage to receipts. There are also the emails you’ll send back and forth with claims adjusters, insurance brokers, and other parties. You may receive physical correspondence. You may need to find prices online for various items that were damaged. You may need to calculate depreciation.
The list goes on (and on, and on).
Keep yourself as organized as possible. We highly recommend keeping both a physical and a digital ledger of everything you can. Scan or take photos of documents, then put them in a claims folder, creating subfolders for correspondence, damage, prices, and other categories.
You should also create physical folders for all of the above.
If you are having difficulty quantifying your loss because there is too much to remember (this can happen if you don’t have an inventory), the insurance company may offer a “global settlement” and simply agree to a smaller settlement and simply write a cheque to close the claim.
Consider Hiring a Public Adjuster
Public adjusters are trained insurance professionals who work for you. Their goal is to get you the maximum amount possible for your insurance claim. In essence, they’re a claims adjuster that works for you instead of for the insurance company.
While licenced public adjusters aren’t needed for simple claims, they can be an invaluable asset for more complex homeowners insurance claims.
By documenting everything from expenses to damage, filing your insurance claim with your insurer as quickly as possible, taking the time to understand your insurance policy, organizing everything, and hiring a licenced public insurance adjuster, you can get the most out of your insurance claim.
Our team can support you—with us, you have an insurance broker, not an insurance agent, and we have a responsibility to help you get the most out of your policy—whether it’s auto insurance or a home insurance policy. Call Nation West today!