Filing insurance claim

In the event of a car accident or home theft, you'll have to file a claim with your insurance company so that the proper steps can be taken to get compensation for your losses. Depending on the type of coverage you have, the amount you are paid will differ because certain items may be covered, while others are not.

In any case, you'll want to take careful steps to ensure your claim is well-founded prior to its submission. To do this, you'll need to:

Observe damage or loss
Take a moment to make sure you're not hurt and that the ordeal is over. Then, see what has actually been damaged or stolen. You may have to look carefully so that you're not passing over anything.

Call police
The authorities should be notified as quickly as possible so that the events are on file. By reporting to the police, you let insurers know that you are serious about your claim and that actual loss has occurred. The police can also help you track down stolen items and do the necessary work to find the criminals.

Take pictures
The best way to make sure the scene is preserved is to photograph the area. This will be used to verify damages and show your insurance company exactly how much they can expect to pay for. You should also keep these photos for your personal records in case any further questions arise.

Document everything
Take notes of everything at the scene in as much detail as possible. This will help you find out what has been damaged. Then, you can attach dollar amounts to each item so that insurers can assess their values.

Create a timeline
If insurance companies think your story doesn't add up, then your claim could be rejected. Insurers are victims of fraud all the time, and some people try to take advantage of the claims process by filing fake reports just to receive money. Write down where you were and how everything happened to the best of your knowledge so that everything flows together and makes sense.

Answer questions
After a report, you'll soon get a call from an adjuster about the claim itself. You will be asked a myriad of questions to determine the exact details of everything, including dollar amounts and insurance specifics, so be ready with all documents at hand.

Once you've filed a claim, it could take weeks before hearing back. To make sure you're fully insured, update your home or auto insurance policy.

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