Making an auto insurance claim helps to cushion the financial blow when something goes wrong. But insurance companies are tricky beasts that don’t like to pay out if they don’t have to.
Here’s top ways to make sure your claims get approved every time.
Before you need to claim:
1. Shop around for a policy that gives you the cover you need.
The insurance market is so driven by price that people don’t always take the time to check what exactly they’re paying for. Finding a policy that covers you for what you need it to is the best way to make sure any claims you make will be approved.
2. Be honest.
A sure fire way to get an insurance claim refused is if you lie to, or withhold information from your auto insurance claims adjuster. This is a real ‘no no’ as your circumstances will be thoroughly investigated when you make a claim. If your insurer discovers you weren’t 100% honest they’ll reject your claim and you will have paid your premiums for nothing.
3. Don’t underinsure.
While it’s pointless paying for more insurance than you need, underinsuring yourself just to cut insurance costs is arguably worse as it will leave you wanting when you need to make a claim. Take the time to work out how much insurance cover you need and find a deal that fits, then you’ll get the best of both worlds.
4. Check your excess is affordable.
In most instances your insurance will only pay out to cover a claim after you’ve contributed towards the cost yourself. For this reason it’s vital that you set your policy excess at a realistic amount. Yes, it’s likely that your insurance will be cheaper if you volunteer to up your excess, but this is only worth doing if you’ll still be able to afford to pay it when you need to claim. Setting your policy excess too high will also put you off filing a claim that you’d otherwise make, as it’ll end up being cheaper for you to pay for repairs or a replacement yourself.
5. Look after your belongings & your receipts.
Your insurer is unlikely to pay out on a claim that you could have reasonably prevented so it’s really important that you look after your belongings. This means keeping your car in good working order, checking your home is secure, not leaving possessions unattended while you’re out and about and so on. Your insurer is also likely to require proof of ownership before they’ll pay out so make sure you keep your receipts.
6. Collect evidence.
Write down exactly what happened and when; take photos of the claim ’scene’ (be it a car accident, diy disaster or some other insured event) and ask for names, contact numbers and statements from anyone else involved, as well as from those who witnessed the event and any police officers who attended. The more information you have about what happened, the harder it’ll be for your insurer to refuse the claim.
7. Inform your insurer right away.
Your insurer will have a clearly defined claims procedure and they’re more likely to pay out if you follow this to the letter. So, before you arrange for any repairs or replacements to be made call your insurer’s claims line and find out how you should proceed. It’s possible they will require you to use recommended tradesmen or repairers, or even have an investigator check out the damage before they’ll pay out but the only way you’ll know that you’re playing by their rules is by speaking to them.
8. Don’t exaggerate.
Tempting as it can be to exaggerate when you make a auto theft insurance claims, it’s actually a really bad idea. Your insurer (e.g allstate auto insurance claims adjuster) will have a clear idea about how much any claim you make is likely to cost and therefore are unlikely to pay you anything at all if they sense you’re trying to pull the wool over their eyes. Again, this will mean you’ve paid your insurance premiums for nothing.
9. Document your claim history.
From whom you spoke to on the first call to your insurer’s helpline, to the photos you took at the scene where the incident occurred; keep everything on file so that you have a clear record of all the information you’ve given your insurer.