What to Know Before Making A Claim

No matter how prepared you are, sometimes life deals you a bad hand. If you’ve experienced property theft, severe weather damage, a car accident, home fire or another unfortunate incident, calling your insurance company may not be the first thing you think about doing. However, once you’re safe, it’s important to act quickly. Starting the claims process early helps you get back on your feet as soon as possible.

If you’ve never needed to file a claim on your auto or home insurance policy, the process might seem unfamiliar and daunting. That’s where we come in to help. Your local OKFB Insurance agent can answer any questions you may have about how insurance claims work. The guide below breaks down some of the key elements to know about the process.

Communication is critical

As soon as you’ve suffered a loss, it’s important to communicate the details to your insurance company. Even if you’re uncertain whether the event is covered or if you plan to file a claim, let us know what happened so that our team can help evaluate the coverage you have and guide you through the next steps. In some cases, there may be a limited amount of time to file a claim after you’ve experienced a loss. Getting in touch with your insurance agent quickly can get you a better understanding of the finer details of your policy, but it can also help you avoid missing out on the timeframe you’re eligible to file a claim.

Document the claim

More is always better when it comes to documentation for insurance claims! If the claim involves theft or vandalism, you will likely need to file a police report to submit alongside your claim. Keep note of who you speak to and who inspects your property. It’s also important to document all damage, stolen items, or anything else that will substantiate the claim. For claims involving property damage, document as much as you can about the items and approximate value. It’s also important to take pictures and video if possible. You should also build an inventory list that is specific to the brand and model of the damaged items. This will help your agent accurately assess what is covered under your policy and your options for reimbursement.

Appraise damages and start repairs

Once a claim is filed, most insurance companies will deploy an adjuster or contractor to assess the extent of the damages. This could involve coordinating with a local mechanic for auto insurance claims or personally inspecting the property for home claims. They will ask you certain questions and give an estimate for how much it will cost. You’ll receive payment from your insurer once the deductible is paid and you have agreed on a settlement amount. Depending on the type of claim, these payments may come as a one-time lump sum for replacement costs or as incrementally released funds throughout the repair process. Your agent or adjuster can help guide you through the options available for payment and securing contractors for repairs.

We’re here for you

If you have questions or concerns that you want to discuss, connect with your local OKFB agent today. If you have any insurance-specific questions, we would love to help you find the coverage that best meets your home, auto, commercial and life insurance needs.

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