Whether your claim is a minor one, involving just a bit of personal and financial inconvenience, or a major situation resulting in catastrophic financial and emotional loss, you will appreciate having Billyard Insurance Brokers looking out for your interests. We will review your loss in the context of your insurance policy and help you decide how best to proceed.
Your policy wording will include some very specific obligations following a loss. Listed below are some broad guidelines. Please note that these do not form part of your policy and are intended to provide general information only.
First, take whatever action is necessary to prevent any further injury or damage. For example, if a pipe has burst at home, shut off the water supply. Or, if you have been involved in an accident, prevent any further damage to your car. Don't dispose of any damaged goods without first getting your insurer's approval. In some instances, your insurer may arrange assistance for temporary repairs, such as covering a damaged roof or boarding over a broken picture window.
If a crime has taken place e.g. theft, vandalism, hit & run collision, or in cases of injury in a car crash, or where the damage exceeds an amount prescribed by law, the police must be informed immediately.
If you have suffered a loss for which you are insured, inform us of the nature of your loss immediately! After regular business hours and on weekends, you may either call the Insurance Company directly.
Be prepared to provide the details of the occurrence. You'll be required to supply information about the circumstances of the claim, as well as reasonable evidence to justify the amount claimed.
Do not authorize any repairs or repair the damage yourself, unless the repair will prevent further damage, until the insurer has consented or has had a reasonable time to inspect the damage.. Also, you cannot simply abandon damaged property e.g. a wrecked vehicle to the insurer without the insurer's consent. However, when your insurer has replaced or paid for damaged property, whatever is left of it (salvage) belongs to the insurer.
Do not admit fault or liability at any time until the loss has been discussed directly with your insurance company. You must not voluntarily make any payments or assume liability (responsibility) for any accident or settle any claim, except at your own cost.
Be prepared (at a later date) to provide the Insurer with a complete inventory or accounting of your claim, supported by sales receipts or other relevant documentation. Your insurer will want to know exactly what was stolen, when you acquired it, and what you paid for it.
Most policies state that a written declaration ("proof of loss") must be made within 90 days of the incident. If you don't make your claim within this time, your insurance company may not be legally be bound to honour your claim. In practice, however, most companies will honour a claim made within one year if there is a reasonable explanation of the delay.
What is a Claims Adjuster? Once your insurance company has been advised of your claim, a claims specialist or adjuster will be assigned to look after your claim. This may be an employee of the insurance company or an independent adjusting firm (often used during busy periods). The adjuster's job is to determine the facts relating to the claim and the extent to which the claim is covered by insurance. The adjuster, who is paid by the insurance company, also attempts to reach an agreement with the other people involved regarding the amount of their loss and extent of their responsibility. The amount you receive for your claim will depend on the type of coverage you bought
Some additional points to consider:
Most insurance claims are subject to a deductible. This is the initial amount of every claim that you've agreed to pay e.g. $500., $2500., etc. As a fundamental principal of insurance is to protect yourself against serious financial hardship, deductibles help make insurance more affordable for everyone by eliminating minor "nuisance" claims. Also, by you sharing in your loss, deductibles encourage responsibility and loss prevention.
Should you make a claim with every loss? Although this is a very personal decision, before making an insurance claim consider the cost of the damage compared to your deductible, future premiums, etc. If it is minor, you may decide not to pursue making a claim, especially if it means losing a "claims-free discount" (if offered by your insurance company), or results in higher renewal premiums.
A regular and up-to-date inventory of your possessions and a record of their value will be helpful to you, your insurer, police, and others in the event of a burglary or fire. After a loss, it might be difficult for you to recall the details of things that are now damaged or missing. We also suggest doing a drawer-by-drawer, room-by-room, video & audio recording of all of your possessions. Even photographs or an audio recorder would be useful for this capturing more detailed information on your personal possessions, collections, books, CD's, tools, stamps, and so on. Written or typed descriptions are also useful. Be sure to include makes, models, serial numbers or other identifying marks. Keep purchase receipts for major items. Store your inventory records in a safety-deposit box or another secure location away from your home.
There is never a good time to suffer a loss, but no matter when it happens, you can count on our claims service!
Call us to discuss your situation.