What to Do If You Have an Insurance Claim
It’s never fun when an accident happens, especially when a bunch of dollar signs are attached to it. You buy insurance to protect yourself from the inherent risks of construction but purchasing insurance and actually using it are two very separate things. While the aftermath of an accident will be inherently unpleasant, the process of filing the claim should not be.
What Is an Insurance Claim?
An insurance claim is a formal request to your insurance company to receive money to help pay for repairs and other expenses caused by a policy event that is covered by your insurance. If a third party’s property is damaged — say a ladder tips over and breaks a window — that may fall under the limits of your general liability policy and you could file a claim to be reimbursed for the damage.
How to File an Insurance Claim
If someone has sustained an injury and requires medical attention or a crime has occurred, call 911 and get help before doing anything else. You might need to file a police report in the event of a crime, which can be useful during the insurance claims process. The next step would be to document everything: names and contact information of all parties involved, location and time of the accident, photos of the damage, records of any conversation you had with the other people involved.
Once those preliminary steps have been completed, report your claim to your insurer as soon as reasonably possible. Some states require a response to a lawsuit within a specific period of time, so giving your insurer the time to manage the claim and properly defend you is crucial.
While you wait for the claim to be settled, do not discuss the incident or share pertinent documents with anyone other than your insurance representatives or law enforcement officials.
Remember, too, that filing a claim does not always mean that it will be met. If the claim arises from activities excluded under your policy, or the accident happens outside of the policy period, it can be denied. For this reason, it is important that you make sure you carefully review your policies and have the right types of insurance. With the right coverage you will be better prepared for whatever life throws your way.