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How to File an Insurance Claim

Insurance is like a security alarm system. You may sleep better knowing you have it, but you hope it’ll never be activated. If you do need insurance, however, it’s helpful to know what to do.

For a claim under any insurance policy, the first step is to notify your insurance agent that you have experienced a loss. Your agent can tell you what to do next and send along any necessary claim forms to be filled out.

The second step is to fill out those forms and submit them as quickly as possible. In the case of a life insurance claim, you may have to submit the policy document itself, along with the claim form and a death certificate. Insurance companies generally act promptly to pay claims, but they cannot act until the paperwork is complete. Doing your share can help expedite the process.

Although your agent can help you with the details, it may be helpful if you’ve kept policies and any related information close at hand. For example, life insurance policies generally should not be kept in a safe-deposit box. In most states, boxes are temporarily sealed upon the death of the owner. Although an executor can gain access to the box to locate a will and insurance policies, the need to do so could slow receipt of the funds when they are needed most. Also, if you own homeowners or renters insurance, be sure to keep an updated inventory of your possessions, along with any documentation relating to their worth. This can help you substantiate the value of your belongings in the event of a covered loss.

When dealing with certain types of insurance, such as health or automobile insurance, be aware that some companies pay claims directly, and others only reimburse after you’ve paid the bill. Payment procedures are determined by the in-house policy of your insurance company, standard industry practice, and the terms of the insurance policy.

Some policies also require a deductible amount that may result in you receiving a bill following a covered loss. Once that amount is paid, there may be a co-payment feature under which the insurance company pays a designated percentage of all covered claims, and you’re responsible for paying the balance up to a specified amount. See your individual policies for the specific deductible or co-payment amounts that apply to your coverage.

Insurance coverage can help mitigate financial loss in difficult circumstances. Take the time now to fully understand your insurance policies and the steps needed in order to file a claim.

Written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc.

Posted on 2 September '11 by gedwards, under Financial planning, insurance quotes, life insurance quotes.