No one wants to deal with the headaches that come with filing an insurance claim. Claims can be a long, tedious process. However, the key to bringing resolution to a claim, both quickly and effectively, is the involvement of the insured party in the claims process. Knowing what to do and the processes you should follow in the event you have to file an insurance claim can make a huge difference in the timeliness of the outcome.
Once the insurance company acknowledges receipt of a claim, the insured contact person will receive the contact information for the claims representative along with the claim number for reference.
Who to Call: Claims Representative vs Agency Representative
The insurance carrier’s claims representative processes the claim and is the most equipped person to answer claims questions.
Your agency representative (for example, your Catto account manager) helps manage your account and usher a smooth insurance process, but doesn’t have direct access to the insurance company’s database or internal records. Contacting your agency representative directly before speaking with the adjuster can often delay the claims process. If you contact your agency rep for every claim, the overwhelming number of calls and emails can make it difficult for the agency rep to respond to you in a timely manner, further delaying the settlement of your claim.
Agency Representatives as Advocates
We’re here to help, but we want to ensure we’re giving you the tools to navigate the claims process as smoothly and efficiently as possible. We recommend that you contact us (or your agency’s representative) if the adjuster fails to call you back within 48 hours or becomes uncooperative or unresponsive in the handling of your claim. As your advocate, your agency rep is there to step in to intervene on your behalf.
How You Can Help
As the insured party during the adjustment process, vigilance and cooperation are your priorities. When an adjuster calls, call them back. Cooperate with the investigation by providing requested documentation, reports, a written or verbal statement, and any investigative reports. This helps the adjuster do their due diligence, determine coverage, and resolve issues.
Tips to follow during the claims process:
- Direct all general inquiries about the claim to the claims representative
- Keep an open dialogue with your claims representative
- Provide him/her with any information that is requested
When you have an agency you trust, talking to your representative can be the comfortable thing to do. Agency reps know the ins and outs of the claims process, including what questions to ask. However, you always hold the most information on an active claim. We encourage our clients to call the insurance adjuster first and then contact us for any issues along the way so that we can help guide the process.
About the Author
John Cornelius has been in the insurance industry for 26 years working for different carriers, third party administrators and presently with Catto & Catto LLP for just over 10 years. He has an All Lines Adjuster’s license and Property and Casualty General lines Agent’s license, and is currently pursuing his Associate in Claims (AIC) designation. Outside of work, John loves spending time with his 14 year old daughter and getting in a game of tennis.