If you have ever filed an insurance claim, you know how complex the process can be. There is a lot of paperwork, and errors can result in non-payment of the claims.
Up to 14% of medical claims do not go through. 40 to 80% of medical bills have errors, such as duplicate entries. Other mistakes include getting the insurance number wrong or incorrect personal details.
Yet there is a lot more that you need to be aware of when filing an insurance claim.1We will explore some mistakes you must avoid when filing those critical papers.
1. Lack of Clarity on the Policy
You decided to take a home insurance policy for your Florida home. You should have taken the time to go through the fine print. There is a lot of information you need to be aware of before putting a signature on any document.
And now you have damages to the property. It is only when you go to file the claim that you become privy to extra information. You did not read that part about water-damaged kitchen cabinets insurance. Neither did you focus too much on how to file insurance claims for storm damage. Yet, as per the policy, the insurance claim officers will be within their rights to reject your claim.
Please note that the underwriters have the protection of the law. The onus is on you to read and understand the policy document. You cannot claim ignorance as a good reason for challenging the claim rejections.
Don’t give up, though. A Florida public adjuster can help you. The best public adjusters will walk you through the claims process. They will also ensure proper assessment and documentation. All with the aim of getting a fair claim settlement.
It is always a good idea to let experts help you with policy documents. Insurance officers don’t make money by paying claims. That means if they can avoid it altogether, the better for their bottom line. Yet, a simple call to a public adjuster can save you so much headache.
Research the reputation and expertise of the company. Also use the Florida public adjuster’s license search to see if the business is legitimate.
2. Delaying the Filing of the Claim
If you read the policy, you will notice a section on timelines. There is a window within which the insurance company allows you to file a claim. If you surpass this timeline, the insurance company can reject your application.
So let’s take the example of a common question. How long after a hurricane, fire or storm can I file a claim? There may be timeline variations depending on the state. The filing window could be anywhere from 2 to 6 years. The same applies to damages from tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. As we said, let a public adjuster advise you if the information is missing from the policy document.
But waiting too long also has other implications. Finding supporting documentation or evidence can become hard the longer you wait.
Immediately after you notice the storm damage, notify your insurer. Indeed if you read the policy document, that is one crucial requirement.
3. Lack of Proper Documentation
You wake up after a storm and find water damage to kitchen cabinets. But you don’t immediately document the damage. Instead, you decide to address other more pressing issues. That, from a practical point, is understandable.
But not documenting what has happened could cost you your insurance claim. You should immediately take videos or photos of the unfortunate incident.
For any expenses relating to the damage, keep proper documentation and receipts. All this will be critical if you hope to get any compensation as per your insurance cover.
4. Avoiding Authority or Running Away from the Scene
Let’s take the example that you are in a car accident. Please wait for the police to come and document the accident scene. Or, you may need to inform the police, even if they do not come to the scene.
But you may think it is an inconvenience that you would rather avoid. Some people would prefer to settle with the other parties. Others will even run away from the accident scene.
All the above scenarios will work against you if you ever file a claim. Police documentation is especially critical. The same would apply to hospital records if there were any injuries.
As we stated in the point above, try and collect as much documentation as you can. Taking pictures, videos, or witness accounts with a smartphone can be a big help later on.
5. Accepting the First Insurance Claims Offer
You may want to avoid the hassle of lengthy negotiations to settle the claim. And that makes you accept the first offer for compensation.
It is only later that you realize that you made a big mistake. The expenses arising from the damages are much more than you thought they would be. Now you’re trying to renegotiate the settlement but to no avail.
As we already shared, insurance companies are not in the business of handing out money. They will offer the least amount they can. So, do not accept any claims without having legal representation.
What happens if you already accepted the offer? Public adjusters can help reopen old claims that fall within a five-year timeline. If you feel the settlement was not worth it, the experts can reopen the claim and try to negotiate for better.
6. Not Following Up On Your Claim
It is your responsibility to keep following the insurance company for settlement. They may, for example, need extra documentation or information. If they reach out, make sure you provide it immediately. The longer you take to respond, the longer the claim settlement will drag.
If you feel it is too much of a hassle to keep up with the follow-ups, hire public adjusters. They take on the tedious job on your behalf. And since the experts know what the underwriters need to settle, the process will go much faster.
Insurance is there to provide compensation so you keep up with premium payments. So you would think filing a claim is easy. But many reasons could lead to the rejection of your claim, as we’ve shared above.
Avoid making these common mistakes. Also, work with professional public adjusters for an easier time.