Thursday, September 24, 2015

Top 4 Mistakes Made When Filing Insurance Claims

In the chaos that follows any type of disaster, you're first thought is probably to get everything cleaned up and fixed right away; you want to get back on your feet as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this way of thinking can lead to mistakes that could end up delaying your insurance reimbursement or even cause issues with getting reimbursed at all. Don't find yourself making these common mistakes when filing your Lake of the Ozarks insurance claims on your home, business or vehicle:

1. Not Contacting Your Insurance Agent Right Away. 

Other than to prevent further damage, before cleaning up or starting repairs, be sure to contact your Lake of the Ozarks insurance agent.  If you start to cleanup and/or fix things before an insurer's inspection, you may find that the cost of the labor you paid for is not covered. For example, in the course of debris removal after a fire, the contractor removes trees from the property that were not damaged.  This action may not be covered under the policy.  Also, the adjuster not knowing the true extent of damages can impact the amount your insurance pays out.

2. Not Properly Documenting Damages. 

Sometimes, repairs need to start immediately to prevent further damage. In this case, be sure to properly document all damages before doing anything else. This means taking pictures of everything! Take pictures of the original scene, exactly how it was directly following the incident. You'll also want to take any closeups of specific items that were damaged. Also take pictures of the repairs that are made.

3. Not Keeping Damaged Goods.

If for some reason you do have to cleanup your business before an insurance agent is able to come review the damage, be sure to keep all the damaged goods. This is all evidence of the impact the situation had on your home, business or vehicle. If cleanup involves removal of water-damaged merchandise, flooring or insulation, keep it all. You can pile it up in your driveway or parking lot until after the insurance adjuster has taken a look and discuss the damages you're claiming.  Another example would be to keep an air conditioning unit after a loss to prove it was hit by lightning verses breaking down due to wear and tear or some other non-covered loss.

4. Not Thoroughly Reading Your Policy. 

The worst thing that can happen when faced with a disaster situation is to call your insurance agent at the Lake of the Ozarks just to find out your not covered for those specific types of damages. One common misconception is that if you have homeowners or building insurance, you are automatically covered for flooding, earthquakes and all other other possible calamities.  Typically these causes of loss are not covered and you need additional insurance to fill those gaps. It is important to know where your risk is and what you're covered for, before a disaster occurs.

If you have any questions on your Lake of the Ozarks insurance coverage, whether it be home, auto or business, give Insure the Lake a call at 573-348-2794. Our goal is to meet with clients about their specific insurance needs and how to best protect them. We write all lines and types of insurance and have contracts with over 50 insurance carriers, with access to even more. Contact us today for a free insurance quote!

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 

About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral