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The Claims Process: What You Need to Know about Filing a Home or Auto Claim

Accidents are an unfortunate part of life that everyone has to deal with from time to time. At Nesbit Agencies, we see many clients opt for the lowest insurance premiums that they can so they know they’re covered without breaking the bank . . . that is, until an unforeseen incident occurs and they realize that the incident may not be covered under their policy. Having something occur to your property or automobile is stressful enough as it is, which is why it’s critical to review your policies regularly, understand what is covered and what is not, and consider upgrading your coverage to suit your changing needs. However, sometimes incidents just cannot be avoided, so today, we’re going to discuss the claims process and everything you need to know about filing a home or auto claim.

Filing a Property Claim

When you’ve suffered a loss or experienced damage to your property, you’ll probably feel eager to get the claims process under way as soon as possible. However, the first thing you’ll need to ask yourself for the specific incident that has occurred is “Am I covered?” Unfortunately, not all homeowners policies have the same coverage, meaning it’s important to familiarize yourself with your policy and keep it nearby so that you can refer to it as needed. If something occurs on your property and you cannot locate your policy, contact your Nesbit Agencies insurance agent directly, and they can send over a copy of your policy along with answering any initial questions you may have.

Once you’ve determined your coverage type, it’s time to submit a property claim. Most standard homeowners policies will cover most of the damages, but it’s important to remember you will more than likely need to pay a deductible to get the process moving along. Depending on the extent and nature of the property loss, a few different things could happen next. For example, if you are unable to live in your home due to the damage, you will likely be covered for reasonable expenses that occur during your temporary relocation (subject to policy limits). On the other hand, if you experienced a loss of personal property, then only the things stated explicitly in your policy will be covered. This is another great reason why it’s important to know what your policy coverage extends to and what it doesn’t.

In another example, let’s say your home caught fire, causing damage to a portion of your house. In this case, a standard policy will usually cover the replacement cost for the damaged part of your house as well as any upgrades that are required by local laws to get your home up to code before it’s deemed livable again. Furthermore, most policies will cover the expense of debris removal from your home, although it’s best to double-check your individual policy to see if this is included.

Now that the claim has been submitted, it’s in your insurance company’s hands to begin processing your claim. Unfortunately, this can be a tedious process that often takes longer than homeowners would like; however, at Nesbit Agencies, we do our best to make it as easy for you as possible. Your insurance company will work as efficiently as they can to get you situated in your temporary living situation (if required) and begin the repair or rebuilding process so that you can get back to your normal life as soon as possible. Ultimately, keep in mind that no one policy will cover everything, which is why it’s absolutely critical to familiarize yourself with your coverage and adjust your policy if necessary.

Filing an Auto Claim

Just like incidents on your property, automobile accidents happen no matter how hard we try to avoid them. When an accident occurs, it’s important that you stay calm and, before anything else, move out of traffic to a safe location. Once you are in a safe place, you need to exchange information with the other driver. You will want to get their name, address, phone number, vehicle license plate number, driver’s license number, insurance company name, and policy number.

It may seem like a lot of information to have to get following an accident, so we suggest getting your phone out; taking a picture of their ID, insurance, and license plate; and then adding their number in a note to your phone. Then, take pictures of the damage for documentation purposes, and be sure to note down the location where and when the accident occurred and any other relevant details.

One of the most important things is to be courteous to the other driver but do not admit fault in the moment. Just stay calm, get the pertinent details, and then forward everything to your insurance company to begin a claim. You do not want to wait to file a claim because most policies require prompt notification of the incident in order to start looking into it.

Key Takeaways

Experiencing an unforeseen incident that leaves your home or automobile incapacitated will always be stressful. But you can help yourself prepare for these events by understanding your coverage before anything happens and making any necessary adjustments. This is also why our agents at Nesbit Agencies are always on hand to help answer any questions you may have and to help you get the proper coverage for your needs.

Although people often want to go for the least expensive coverage, it’s not always going to be suited to your needs, and you don’t want to later regret getting a lesser policy just to save a few dollars a month. Ultimately, reviewing your home and auto policies regularly, understanding your coverage, and knowing the areas where you need to increase your coverage are all important steps in making the best-informed decisions for your insurance needs.

For more information on reviewing and updating your home or auto policies, contact your local Nesbit Agencies insurance agent at (952) 941-9418.

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