Opening your insurance renewal packet can be a scary thing because even if you haven’t made a claim, your rates could still increase. This is because your insurance carrier uses a wide range of factors to set rates. In addition to a minor increase in your premium due to inflation and cost of living, here are some of the other most common reasons why your premium may have gone up when you renewed your policy.
Your insurance carrier has access to driving records in your state and use your history to set rates. If you have received a traffic ticket for speeding or another similar infraction, the ticket could cause your premium to increase. In fact, a traffic ticket can increase your rates even more than a claim, particularly if you weren’t deemed at fault in the claim.
Lower Credit Score
Some states allow your insurance carrier to take your credit score into consideration when setting your insurance premium. In this situation, if your credit score drops, you could find yourself paying more for your home or auto insurance. Therefore, be attentive to paying your credit-related bills on time every month and keeping your balances on credit cards low with respect to your credit limits.
Driving Different Vehicle
The car you drive has a big impact on the rates you pay for insurance. You’ll likely see your premium for comprehensive and collision coverage go up if you switch to a newer, more expensive vehicle or one that is statistically more likely to be stolen. Your liability rates depend more on the extent of the damage that vehicle most often causes in an accident and the statistics on how often that particular vehicle is involved in accidents.
Moved to New Location
Insurance premiums depend largely on where you live, both because of state laws and because of statistics on the cost of auto accidents in that area. For example, you’ll likely see your rates go up if you move from a rural area to a densely populated area because there are more vehicles on the road, and therefore, you’re more likely to get into an accident with one of them. Comprehensive coverage for vehicles also depends on theft and vandalism rates in your area and the type of parking you have available.
Although no one ever wants to be in an automobile accident, the reason you have auto insurance is so you are protected if it ever happens. Making sure you have the best policy for your situation is also important. If you have a new car, with or without a lien holder, you should make sure you have comprehensive coverage. Even the smallest fender bender could make a mess of your car and you will want to fix your ride as soon as possible.
The first thing needed when making an auto insurance claim is the information about both parties involved. If you were at fault in an accident, you will need not only your own information, but also that of the other party. Make sure you have your insurance policy number available and the make, model and year of the vehicle. Of course before exchanging information, if there are injuries, call 911 and report the accident.
The next item you may need when making an insurance claim is the police report. Often, the insurance company will want official documentation about the accident, the people involved, who was at fault and if there were any witnesses. Usually this is important if the claim is large and there is personal injury involved. If the accident was small and the claim will be less than $500, the insurance company may not require as much information.
If the damage was only to your vehicle, the insurance company will want to send an adjuster to look at the car. You may also need to take the auto and get 2-3 estimates to fix the damage. Insurance companies are not just going to take your word for how much the damage will cost to fix. Depending on the company, they may ask you to see one of their own repair shops.
Finally, although there are many items needed when filing a claim with your auto insurance company, once your vehicle is repaired it will be worth the time and trouble. When working with a great insurance company, you will not need to worry about long delays or bad customer service. When you are comparing quotes for the best plans, take all of this into consideration and find an insurance company that will be there when you need it.
If an accident or break-in leaves your car or home vulnerable to damages or loss, you will probably rely on your homeowners or auto insurance policies to repair the damages in an appropriate amount of time. However, depending on the extent of your losses and the size of your claim, processing and settling a claim can take days or even weeks.
How it Works
After an incident occurs, an insurance adjuster is assigned to review your case and determine how much compensation you are entitled to. Some insurance companies take several days to review your case and determine your eligibility for compensation. At this time, you may be asked to acquire repair or replacement estimates — especially if the claim is related to losses sustained in an auto accident. Your insurer will then either offer to cover the full cost of your repairs, minus the deductible, or you will be offered a settlement amount, which you can accept or deny.
Keep in mind that the average time for claims to process is usually much shorter when the only damage or losses are related to property. If you are filing a personal injury claim as well, your case may take longer to process, as insurers will require copies of medical bills and possibly, a statement from you physician. Also, if you deny an insurance settlement, your case may go into a mediation process through your insurer to determine whether you should receive a higher payment. If your case goes into mediation, it may take an additional two to six weeks to settle.
How You Can Accelerate the Process
Depending on the nature of your claim, you can accelerate how long claims are processed or settled through your insurer in a number of ways. Start by always getting a police report at the scene of the accident or crime — no matter how big or small it is. Provide the contact information of witnesses, and ask to schedule a time to meet with the adjuster to inspect damages. If your adjuster asks for pictures instead, ask to email them, rather than send them through the mail.
A camera carried in your car would be a perfect evidence to document the case and make your claim process easy and fast. Now that you are aware of what needs to be done when any accident occurs, you will also be curious to know on how an insurance company will assist their clients during their time of need. When it’s related to car accident and insurance claim, make sure it is documented correctly. Let any incident not surprise you as to when it occurred and how? What it resulted in and who were the victims of it? There can be twist in the story.
When Accident Occurs
An accident occurs, be it your fault or the other driver’s, people will be apologetic and seem to be very co-operative at the scene of accident. Do not be amazed when the story changes. For the fact, no one would admit their fault and bare heavy expenses. Though you follow the required steps, be calm and report to the police, you do not want to end up in a mess when filing claims. Be it the cops or the insurance company, they would require evidence in order to support and stand by you.
Carry A Camera
Placing a camera in your car’s glove compartment does benefit you in documentation process. You can take pictures which can help you when the other driver is found guilty. Even if you are liable for an accident, still take pictures in order to document damage severity. Some people do wait for an opportunity and take advantage of a claim. A try to receive much more than what they are bound to get as you are paying. Below are some tips for you to consider:
- Call the cops and inform your agent or the car insurance company. All your vehicle related documents, insurance and license will be verified.
- Do not block the roads. Clear your vehicles from lane to avoid traffic.
- Most importantly, take enough pictures to cover the incident much before you move your vehicle from the spot. Remember, you are capturing the proof here in order to make your claim process effortless.
Obstacles during claim process can be truly frustrating. Consider these steps in order to overcome them:
- No response from insurance company.Your Insurance company must respond to any claim made by you. If not then consider the below options:
- Pen down your request: Send the written request to the representative and look for his response. If he fails to do so, then pass on the letter to the president of that particular insurance company keeping the adjuster in loop.
- Contact State department of insurance: Also, insurance commissioner can help you out. Contact them directly, if found no result then proceed legally by contacting an attorney.
- Claim denial If any of your valid claim is denied, then do the writing and raise a dispute. Contact your claims representative and stay connected till the matter is completely resolved.
- Insurance company’s damage estimates are too low. You need not have to accept, with appropriate documentation proofs, demand your company for the required rebuild or repair costs.
- Your policy gets destroyed. If your policy was destroyed in a fire, contact your insurance company or agent immediately to obtain a copy of the same
Tips for a Smooth Claim Process
- Review your policy. Reviewing your insurance policy needs to understand the coverage type and how claims are filed and if any deadlines are applicable. If you cannot follow any single detail, call up your agent and get your doubts resolved immediately.
- Manage your claim and save a copy. Keep a record of all calls made, letters written, mails sent across to anyone who is part of this claims process. Also, make sure to note the description and date of any interaction occurred. In case if you have to sue any insurance company, a detailed records maintained for claim process will benefit you.
- Be in good terms with your insurance company Insurance company may ask for certain information or any documentation to be submitted before starting the claims process. Provide access to your home until it’s reasonable.
- Process payment It completely differs depending on various losses you would have sustained. For any small loss, a check will be written by your insurer where as for any large loss, you might receive an advance by your insurer to bare the cost required to repair or rebuild your house throughout every process. Check with your agent in advance to plan better.
- Time line. If you are not in comply with your insurer’s analysis of your policy, it is really important to contact them immediately and resolve those issues. Be in contact with your insurance company’s claim representative and ensure that you will be back in your home sooner with their help.
Cooking fires that raged through many of the Ohioan homes recently served as one horrifying alarm to wake up all home owners. They were not sure about how well are they covered if their home was caught under fire. Fire insurance comes as a rescue to protect your house provided that’s been included under your home insurance as a “named peril” or has to be purchased separately.
Home Insurance Fire Policy
Your homeowners insurance policy will cover fire damage on your home provided you do not exclude it from the policy. Fire damage can occur due to windstorm, any accidental electronic circuit break, or volcanic eruption. If there is a possible cause of your home lit by fire being excluded, compensation will be refused. It should remind home owners to ask for coverages in order to cover the incident, instead do not make an assumption about any homeowners policy.
House Fires Can be Prevented
In the United States, house fires kill thousands of people, billions of dollars in property damage occurs every year. Fire accidents are caused not only due to burns, toxic smoke expelled and inhaled can also does have sever effect. It is better to prevent yourself from such accidents with tips below:
- Installation of smoke detectors and replace the batteries timely.
- Prepare an emergency fire exit plan with your family.
- Sprinkler systems installed will increase your property value and thus will lower insurance rate due to fire.
- Buy appliances for your home with automatic features to turn off itself when not in use. This will prevent accidents to some extent.
- Replacing or repairing frayed wires and old appliances is a must. Have a thorough check done by a professional every year.
- Fire extinguishers placed where it can be reached sooner is essential to suppress even the small blaze, before things are out of your reach.
- Ensure that cigarettes are extinguished completely before being thrown out into trash and try avoid smoking when inside your home.
After The Fire: Insurance Claim Process
- After having the emergency medical support, call up your insurance company to report the loss.
- Your insurance company sends out an estimator. Contractor performs smoke damage clean up.
- Keeping an accurate record of your prized possessions helps in estimating the dollar loss.
- Confirm with your insurance agent about the policy coverage norms.
- Follow up with your agent till the end of claim settlement.
Lawsuits for Fire
At times, people or even organizations are held highly responsible for fires. The fire can result because of a defective product at home or improper building maintenance. Construction companies, property owners, maintenance crews, business operators and other such companies add to defective products who are liable for an accidental fire. It is always better being wiser to take precautionary measures to avoid the losses instead of law suits.