Read This First
Read This First
Things You Should Know BEFORE You Submit Your Claim
You are probably reading this because you recently had a car accident or suffered some other kind of loss to one of your vehicles, your home or your business. If so, we are sorry to hear that and hope that you are okay and that no one has suffered injuries.
If anyone has suffered bodily injury, or even has experienced a bump or jolt, call us to get advice or to report a claim immediately and then you can come back to read this page while you await further instruction or contact.
Some quick information about claims reporting:
- Should I submit a claim to my insurance company or not?
If there are injuries, call your Broker or Insurance Company. Your Broker can give you advice. Your policy, if you have it at the ready, should outline your obligations in the event of an accident or occurrence.
- Will there be any negative consequences?
If you are wondering about this, chances are your claim is either small, or it one that you are thinking of paying for yourself. This choice is personal and can also be affected by your current circumstances, for example, have you had other recent claims? Can you afford to retain your risk? Will you need legal assistance?
- Will my price go up? By how much?
Again, if you are wondering about this, your claim may not be severe. Depending on your circumstances, the type of loss, your insurance history, and market or even global conditions, the answer might be yes. Your Broker is your resource, your advocate – so if you are unsure what to do, ask – while we cannot make the decision for you, we will do our best to provide you with the information to help you make your decision.
- Can my policy be canceled … and what happens then?
This, again, is dependent on a number of factors and the impact of these factors can vary from one insurance company to another. If you have coverage in force at the time of the claim, you can make a claim. If your Insurer decides to not offer you a renewal of coverage, as your Broker (with a number of different companies to offer), we will help you find options and provide you with recommendations.
Know Your Deductible
Your policy deductible is the amount you pay first on the claim (out-of-pocket) towards the amount of your loss. Your insurance company then pays the balance up to the limits specified on your insurance policy. A simple example would be a collision loss to your own vehicle from a single-vehicle accident. If your Collision coverage deductible was $1,000 and the damage was only $1,000, then submitting a claim does not make sense. If the damage was $2,000, even though the other $1,000 will be payable by the Insurer, you may determine that submitting a claim is not in your best interest.
When you selected your deductible at the start of your policy term, you would have thought of how much you were prepared to absorb in the event of an accident or incident (occurrence). In choosing your deductible, you may have also considered the amount of loss you could pay for (i.e. retain) yourself, without submitting an insurance claim. If you think back to your thoughts when you bought or renewed your insurance, this may help you make your decision whether to report a claim. However, the possibility exists that your circumstances have changed and even though the claim is not a worst-case scenario, you need your insurance company to respond.
If the above has not helped you finalize your decision, call your Broker for advice. Remember, here at Founders Insurance Group Inc. we work as a team so that you have someone to talk to (even if your regular Broker is away). Also, take comfort in the fact that if you are currently at the scene of the accident, or if you are experiencing damage to your property – your urgent call is given priority. If you happen to have a claim outside office hours, your policy will have after-hours contact information to reach your Insurer’s Claims Department directly. You can also visit our Insurers page on this website for the same information.
Claims Handling – How is it going?
Every insurance company is different in terms of their rules, practices and service. Know one thing – this is their ‘one chance to dance’ or the Insurer’s ‘time to shine’. We all hope you never have to go through the pain of a loss, but if you do, this may be the only time for your insurance company to show you how good they are. That being said, the time may arise when you feel you are not getting the proper attention. There may be a reason, for example, a huge storm has caused damage throughout the city or region and there is a huge queue of claims. Or, there could be another reason and we don’t want you wondering what’s happening or having to call in multiple times. So here are a few general rules:
- when you report a loss, whether it be to a Broker or to the company directly, make note of the time reported and more importantly, the time frame given to you for an insurance adjuster to contact you when your adjuster is assigned, they should be calling you no later than 48 hours after the report of the claim – some insurers promise a call within 24 hours or even sooner!
- when you speak with the adjuster, make note of the details provided by him or her and keep their contact information handy
- before you hang up, ask them what the next step and/or when the next point of contact will be also ask and make note of: whom should you call if you run into any problems and he/she is not available (e.g. absent from work)
- if you’ve been asked to submit documents to the adjuster, make sure to complete that task and in a timely manner – your obligations to the Insurer are to cooperate, provide pertinent information to help them settle the claim, and to not interfere (the list of obligations of both you (the Insured) and the Insurance Company will be outlined in the policy under Statutory Conditions and also Duties in the event of a Claim or Occurrence sections of policies)
- if all else fails, call your Broker. We’re not privy to all of the discussions you have with the company so having your conversations documented with dates and times will help us, help you.
Other information can be found at your government website. Here is the link to the Superintendent of Insurance office here in Nova Scotia.
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