When it comes to your insurance claim, obviously you want it assessed, processed and paid out as quickly as possible, so that you can get back to normality. Unfortunately, sometimes if you rush it, you can easily miss crucial elements which may affect the final settlement, or slow down the entire insurance claim process.
Here are some tips of what NOT TO DO, if you don’t want to delay the insurance claim process, or jeopardise your settlement
- Don’t start cleaning up the damage before your insurance company has had a chance to view the loss. Of course, it’s a natural instinct to begin removing personal belongings and fixtures, but a complete inspection must be made and an inventory is taken before any items are touched, replaced or repaired.
- Remember this is all evidence, and without it, you will struggle to recover the full value of the items.
- Get quotes for everything and only then decide what should be dumped when approval has been gained from your insurance company.
- Make informed decisions and don’t be railroaded. Get an expert opinion from a specialist and give yourself the tools to recoup your full entitlement.
“If you’re not properly managing your insurance claim, then your claim is managing you.”
How to manage your insurance claim process the right way
- Understand what your insurance policy covers. You are personally responsible for some costs, and they can add up very quickly. If you are under-insured at the time of loss, you can be significantly out of pocket following a loss without recourse.
- Do your due diligence. Talk to a professional loss assessor who is experienced in handling these types of claims. If you don’t know any, get recommendations from friends and family, or search for the highest-rated loss assessors in your area.
- Understand the costs. Please familiarise yourself with the cost of professional services and what it covers.
- Make an itemised inventory. Don’t touch anything until a comprehensive list of damaged items has been made.
- You have a responsibility to mitigate and protect your property but know your limitations. Yes, you want to slow the process down in order to carefully follow each step, but don’t put your business “on hold” for too long.
- Once the initial paperwork, checklists and inventory are completed, get the demolition started right away.
- Recognise “BER” loss. Unfortunately, there are times when a property or contents are beyond economical repair, and demolition/disposal is the only practical solution. Remember you still need to protect your interests in this case, and demolition or disposal should not be carried out until approval has been given.
Don’t let your claim spiral out of control. Manage it and slow it down to a pace that you feel comfortable with, but that allows you to return to your business or your home within a reasonable time frame. By understanding the process and all related costs, you are more likely to get the best return for your claim and also avoid being out of pocket.