Communicating with your insurance company can be challenging, particularly if you are in the middle of a crisis and need to report a claim. Your emotions may be running high and you may not remember everything that is said in your initial conversation with the adjuster. What is more, you may say things about your claim in the heat of the moment that may be inaccurate or uninformed, as you may not have received any damage estimates. Keep in mind that your calls with your insurance company are most likely recorded, so you want to avoid coming across as too emotional or too eager to settle under the insurer’s terms. As Miami insurance law attorneys, we know how insurance companies work. From documenting all your communications, to having the right attitude, how you communicate with your insurance company can impact how your claim is resolved.
Document Your Communications
The most important thing to remember is to document every communication with your insurance company in a notebook or folder so you can easily keep track of the status of your claim. Start collecting receipts and damage estimates as well and keep all of your notes and documents together in one place. You should also create a paper trial by confirming what your insurance company has said by sending them a quick follow-up e-mail or letter. This helps to avoid any misunderstandings about representations or promises made, whether about timing of the claims process or more substantive discussions about damage estimates and potential recovery.
For your part, you should promptly address – in writing – any letters or requests from your insurer that you believe to be unreasonable. This will be particularly useful should your claim be rejected or unsatisfactorily resolved. It is also important to be proactive. Do not wait for your insurance company to tell you what they owe you; instead, give your insurer proof of your losses as soon as you can and request the specific dollar amounts you are entitled to under your policy.
Have the Right Attitude
The key to successful communication with your insurance company is to be polite, prompt, and persistent. You should also keep the conversation professional. Settling your claim is essentially a business negotiation; the adjuster is not your friend. Ask questions if you are unclear about any aspect of the process. If there as in issue about claims procedure or coverage, ask your adjuster to point you to where your policy explains it.
Understand How a Typical Insurance Company is Organized
Generally, when you first contact your insurance company with a claim, you will be assigned to an adjuster. The next level up would be the adjuster’s supervisor. If after you have spoken to a supervisor you are still not satisfied with how your claim is being handled, the chain of command will likely be as follows:
- Unit manager
- Assistant Manager
- Claims Manager or Claims Vice President, who will be in charge of a local office
- Regional Claims Vice President, who will be in charge of several offices in a region
- Home Office Claims, which will include field management, technical management, and major claims (such as asbestos, lead paint)
As you go up the chain of command, the level of settlement authority the representative has will increase.
Let Miami Insurance Law Attorneys Help You Navigate the Claims Process
We have decades of experience assisting policyholders with claims that have been denied or resolved unsatisfactorily. Contact Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin today for a consultation.Share