No one prays for misfortunes to happen, yet they happen because they are normal events of life. In this light, people take out insurance policies to protect them from the effects of misfortunes and provide them with commensurate compensations when bad events happen. You therefore faithfully pay your premiums with the implicit trust that insurance companies will rise for your help when you suffer any disasters. But what are the steps to take when you suffer misfortunes of which you have been insured against? What are the basic steps to take for insurance claim settlements to enable you recover from losses?
1. Contact your insurance agent or company to file a claim: The instant you suffer any misfortunes that you have been insured against, for instance, auto accidents or fire outbreak in your residence, you must immediately contact your insurance agent or insurance firm to file a claim. You often do this by filling out an insurance claims form on which you detail out what has happened to you, how it happened, and supporting this claims form with all supporting documents to support your claims. For instance, in the case of an auto accident, you must support your claims form with photographs of the accident, police and medical reports, witness accounts, and other information about casualties and so on. It is always better to have your own copies of whatever documents and information you provide your insurance agent or firm in support of your claim settlement.
2. A claims adjuster or assessor assesses your claims: After filing for a claims settlement, most insurance companies would dispatch their claims adjuster or assessor to determine the veracity of your claims and to determine if your claims are too high against the actual loss. The adjuster or assessor would visit the scene of the accident to interview witnesses and check out official reports, and then assesses the damage with a view to reducing your settlement claims if they are too high. For instance, if your damaged vehicle now costs $6,000 after 3 years of using it, the adjuster will ensure that you do now claim a settlement of $9,000 which is the cost of a new car. He will assess the accident situation and also check out current market value of products and assets in order to give a fair settlement to you – the reason for this is because compensation claims are to restore you to your original position before the accident and not to enrich you from the misfortune.
3. Accept your compensation settlement or file litigation: After the insurance and claims assessor has finished his investigations and come to a fair amount by which you can be settle for your loss, they present you with a proposal of the compensation amount to pay you to cover for your loss. You may accept this if it actually covers your loss, or you may dispute it by filing a lawsuit when you fail to come to an agreement with the insurance company. This is where insurance attorneys come in, and the matter is left for the courts to decide if your compensation settlement should be raised or maintained as it is.