Insurance Claim – What Are They?

Your insurance company provides this application to you so you can apply for benefits on your insurance policy whether it is a life, auto, or health insurance. You must file a claim before any money can be paid to any contracted service like a hospital or repair shop for your car. When you file insurance claims the company, based on their evaluation of the situation, may pay the claim or they may not.

When you take out an insurance policy, you must continue making monthly payments to the insurance company. These are called premiums. Generally, these premiums are used to increase the available assets of the company or to settle another person's claim. Occasionally an accident will happen that can cause financial damage like a tornado, automobile wreck, or work-related accident. When this happens, the injured policyholder can file an insurance claim to receive money from that company.

When filing an insurance claim you will file it with a local agent that works for the company and they have the responsibility to instigate the specific details of the claim. Then the agent negotiates the payment from the main insurance company. Many times a recognized authority such as a repair shop, building contractor, or medical professional can file the necessary forms with the insurance company directly. If another party has agreed to pay for their mistake out-of-pocket or the damage is minor, the policyholder may not want to file an insurance claim.

Once an insurance claim is filed the insurance company usually has an appraiser or adjustor without bias evaluate the damage and determine if the estimates for repair the policy holder got are realistic. This can help prevent fraud by companies who inflate their estimates so they can get additional compensation. Most insurance companies will accept the appraiser or adjustor's valuation as the last word. There are some insurance claims may not be paid for many reasons. Some of these reasons can include:

• The claimant's premiums have not been paid each month and they are behind
• Policy may be inactive
• Another insurance company may have agreed to pay for the damages that were listed in the insurance claim. This happens often in car accidents where one of the parties is held responsible for the accident.
• Failure to not be under the conditions that are covered because most insurance policies specify specific areas that qualify for benefits
• If the damage or accident claim was an unavoidable "Act of God" or caused by carelessness your insurance company has the right to withhold payment.

The only way to officially apply for benefits is to file a claim. Until your insurance company has assessed the claim, it will remain as that and not a payout.

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Fire Claims – Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim

After suffering a fire the homeowner will need to do file a claim for property damages so they can clean up and start to rebuild. Fires are devastating and sometimes homeowners will make a costly mistake during and after the settlement of their fire claims. Most will let a fire claim adjustor come survey their property and make the claim but there can be things that are missed during the initial claim. One thing to note is that after the insurance company sends you a check and closes the fire claims the homeowner has three years to add to the existing closed claim. This can be done if it is found that the damages were not assessed correctly. To help make sure that you get the right settlement for your fire claims, here are some tips to help you.

Document the damage to your home and other buildings

Take the time to inspect and document all of the damage yourself. If the home is not a total loss make sure that you take pictures of the damaged rooms. Try to take overviews and some close-up photos. Before you enter the room, hall, or closet take an overview. By doing this it will help you to organize your pictures and which ones belong to which room. For example, with the living room, take an overview, then go from top to bottom of the walls, ceiling, doors, and the floor.

Document damage to your contents

The next step is to go back to each room and closet to inventory your contents. For everything that is damage, including clothes, shoes, furniture, paintings, etc that have been damaged by the fire making sure to show the damage on the picture. Yes, this is going to take a lot of pictures but everything needs to be documented in order to get the right settlement. Make a list of all contents that have been damage. Once you have listed the damaged items and have the pictures take another look around the room to make sure that you have not missed anything. Make an inventory list for each room with the pictures attached.

Review your insurance policy

Yes, insurance policies are hard to understand but before filing fire claims you should take the time to review your police basics, such as how much coverage you have on your home, how much coverage is on your personal belongings, and how much will the policy pay for you to stay in a hotel.

Once you do fire claims the fire claims adjuster will cover to the site of the fire and start their own claim. Do not give them the original photos and inventory claim sheet but a copy. This will help them expedite the claim.

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Can My Personal Injury Claim End in a Structured Settlement?

When you are in the middle of a personal injury lawsuit, your mind is in constant motion with questions about all the possible outcomes of your case. Although you might have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side who is fighting for your rights to compensation, it can be tough putting your mind at ease until the case is completely settled.

Many people are worried about their settlements, and wonder how they will receive their payment in the end. Questions like, "Will I get all my money at once?" and "Is it possible that my compensation will be awarded as a structured payment?" are all common concerns by most personal injury plaintiffs.

Structured Settlements

A structured settlement is an agreed periodic payment plan in which the recipient receives a set amount of money over a specified period of time; and they are a common result of a personal injury settlement. There are both advantages and disadvantages of structured payments, depending on your particular perspective.

The number one benefit of a structured settlement is that you usually receive more money overall. In a lump sum payment, the amount is usually negotiated lower. Another major benefit is personal financial management. When a large sum of money is paid out overtime, it is usually easier to manage your finances, pay bills, save money, and maintain a positive financial portfolio. It may be especially beneficial in terms of tax liabilities as well.

Additional Benefits:

  • Simpler Tax Planning
  • Possible Income Tax Advantages
  • Additional Annual Income
  • Broader Subsidy Opportunities
  • Budget Protection

One of the common downfalls to structure pay is limitation. For those consider themselves financially savvy, not receiving your full compensation can be a huge restriction since you cannot use the money to make any lucrative investments. In other cases, a personal injury victim has already paid all of their hospital bills, medical expenses, and other related expenses, out-of-pocket. They have also already incurred lost wages from work; so by not receiving a full payment can be frustrating since victims in this type of situation is simply trying to put the money back where it was before their accident.

The Outcome of a Structured Settlement

If you win your claim and an insurance company agrees to give you a structured settlement, you will not be given a paycheck right away. Instead, you will be paid a set amount over a set period of time. The terms of structured settlement agreements vary from case to case, and payment amounts and schedules can be set in many different ways. These payments generally begin as soon as all the paperwork is processed; However, this time period can vary, and sometimes can take up to one year to begin receiving payments.

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Insurance Claim Supplements – How to Submit Claim Supplements

A claim supplement is a claim for additional repair or replacement costs. Supplements are commonplace in the claims process. However, if you are a policyholder unaware of your policy rights, you could be walking away from hundreds or thousands of dollars that you are entitled to collect.

Claim supplements usually occur after a policyholder submits a claim, gets paid and gets the repairs or replacements completed. Then, additional damage is discovered some time later.

Many people erroneously think that, once the claim is closed, it cannot be re-opened. And, insurance companies and their adjusters usually don’t rush to tell you how to submit a claim supplement. So, what to do? Let’s look at car insurance claims and property insurance claims.

For any kind of supplemental claim, you must contact your insurance company and give them your original claim number. The best way to notify the company is in writing, sent Certified Mail. That way, you’ll know who signed for the letter. The insurer will have to re-open the claim. You might get the same adjuster as before, but maybe not.

Car Insurance Supplemental Claims

Lots of supplements happen when cars are getting repaired. Many times, hidden damages are discovered when the body shop begins dismantling the car. So, while the insurance company may have issued payment to the body shop from the original repair estimate, they will issue a second check for the supplemental repairs. Happens all the time, no big deal.

However, sometimes post-repair problems don’t show up right away. A good example is the Air Conditioning system. If you have a car wreck in July, you might not notice that your heater is malfunctioning until fall or winter. But when any damages are discovered that can be directly related to the original insured loss, you can submit a supplement. Simply document the damages and their cause and send the supplement to the insurance company. No additional deductible is assessed, since you already paid it once.

Property Insurance Supplemental Claims

Homeowners, Renters or Business insurance claims can find a need for a supplemental claim for some of the same reasons found in car insurance claims. Seasonal issues can bring up damages related to the original loss. But, some other issues might present themselves. You may have an expert’s report that shows additional damage attributable to the original loss. Your contractor may have found hidden damage that must be repaired. In any event, carefully document your claim and submit it to the insurance company.

Be sure that you are collecting all the money you are entitled to collect. Use supplemental claims whenever your claim requires it.

If you have experienced a property loss, whether fire, wind, flood or other, you need to know winning insurance claim strategies. The insurance company will not tell you the claims process, but I will. I will show you how to take control of your insurance claim, and add hundreds or even thousands more dollars to your claim settlement. For more information, go to the …