What just happened looks like an insurance claim, walks like and insurance claim and sounds like one………but is it and should I turn it in?
First a question: if you were to pay for it out of pocket, would it sink your financial ship? The way the insurance companies look at a claim: if it is a sudden, unexpected, catastrophic and covered by your policy, turn it in.
Sometimes turning in a claim is unavoidable. A few pointers:
- If there is ANY bodily injury after an accident, turn it in. Injury claims can take years to close.
- If any of the accident claimants are unreasonable or confrontive, turn it in and distance yourself.
- If the damage is minor (and there is no bodily injury), have an estimate done. A small claim can cost you more down the road. You can lose accident free credits and be surcharged if the accident was your fault. The company may also take this time to check your driving record and, based on the finding, could cost you more.
- Claims will stay on your record, even if nothing is paid out. If the cost of the claim is under or close to your deductible, think twice.
- If the accident is not your fault, put the claim with the other drivers’ carrier. If they are not responsive or have poor customer service, you can submit it to your company and get yourself taken care of.
- Again, the loss needs to be unexpected, sudden and catastrophic. Ongoing maintenance issues such as seepage, wear and tear or defective construction, vermin damage, etc. are excluded.
- Get an estimate and pay the smaller claims out of pocket.
These are just a few considerations, but should get your started. If you want to or can, call us before turning in your claim. We would love to help.