With masses of people traveling, shopping and decorating over the holiday season, there is a higher risk of car crashes, home and car burglaries, and property loss and damage than the rest of the year. During this busy season, insurance companies have more to contend with, which makes filing a claim all the more difficult. To successfully file a claim in the event of a holiday emergency, follow these simple tips.
1. Always Contact the Authorities First
Police reports are important pieces of evidence when filing a crime-related claim. In the event of a crime, contact the local authorities before anyone else, including your insurance company. They’re more likely to answer first during the busy holiday season, not to mention they can help ensure the safety of everyone involved. They also begin the investigative process necessary to prove your claim with the insurance company.
2. Don’t File Too Many Claims
Filing too many claims in a short amount of time can increase your monthly premium significantly. As a general rule of thumb, only file a claim when repair and compensation costs are considerably higher than your deductible. If you could pay the difference out of pocket, it’s often better to do so. For homeowners’ insurance policies, for example, we advise that policyholders only consider filing up to two insurance claims per five-year period.
3. Keep Track of Your Case
Keep a record of all interactions with local authorities, insurance claim agents and repair companies. This can help you make a better case when filing and protect you against unfair claims handling practices by your insurance company. Insurance companies are the busiest around this time of the year, making them more likely to make mistakes and cut corners on your claim.
4. Document Temporary Repairs
Most homeowners’ insurance policies compensate policyholders for any temporary repairs made before or immediately after filing a claim. For example, if you had to board a broken window in the middle of the night, you could file an insurance claim several days after the fact. Remember to photograph of take video of the initial state of the scene to help expedite the insurance company’s decision-making process and get you the most coverage quickly.
5. Be Careful When Using Social Media During Vacation
Some insurance companies try to deny home burglary claims if the homeowners posted on social media that they were on vacation around the same time the crime occurred. They do so under a clause that indicates that homeowners must take necessary precautionary steps to prevent crimes, such as burglary.
Filing an insurance claim during the holidays has several challenges. Insurance companies are likely to decline more cases to ease their workload, but this can negatively affect policyholders. For the best protection of your rights, schedule an insurance dispute consultation with a trusted insurance lawyer.