By: Shernoff Bidart Echeverria LLP
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HOW TO GET YOUR INSURANCE CLAIMS PAID THE FIRST TIME
How to Get Your Insurance Claims Paid the First Time: Traps to Avoid When Submitting a Claim, Excuses Insurance Companies Look for, Tricks for You to Watch out for
Whenever you file an insurance claim, the person who decides if, when, and How much you will be paid is the claims adjuster, not the agent or salesperson with whom you usually do business. Because insurance companies are never inclined to pay what they don’t have to pay, claims adjusters look first for a reason to deny or delay payment. Then, if they can’t find one, they usually pay it. So it’s important to present an airtight claim that leaves no room for excuses.
There are six traps to avoid that claims adjusters routinely look for.
Filing an airtight claim:
Trap #1: Unpaid premiums. Make sure you pay insurance premiums on time. Don’t rely on a “grace period.” Reason: If you suffer a loss after the due date but before you pay, or even a few days after you pay a late premium, the insurance company can say your policy had lapsed.
Trap #2: Delay in reporting. Notify your insurance company at once if you intend to file a claim. In cases of theft, car accidents, etc., file a police report immediately. Reason: The insurance company will require independent verification of the circumstances of the incident, and may need to resolve questions of negligence. Failure to notify the police after a crime occurs can be grounds for denying a claim. Note: The company cannot refuse to pay simply because you are late with the paperwork, unless it can show the company, has been harmed by your tardiness.