When you make a claim, you are officially asking the insurer to pay you for a loss or event covered under the terms of your insurance policy.
Before submitting a claim, check your policy's terms and conditions, as well as any exclusions, to see if your loss is covered. Insurance companies will pay only for the specific losses described in your policy. Your insurer will review your policy and advise you whether your claim is eligible under the terms of your contract.
Contact your insurance agent, broker or insurance company promptly about your claim. Most insurers have time limits within which you must submit your claim. The limit usually varies from 90 days to 12 months from the date of the loss or event.
The insurer may investigate the circumstances surrounding your claim to confirm that no fraud was involved. For example, the insurance company may request medical records or police accident reports. This information will be used to determine whether the insurer will pay your claim.
When submitting your claim to your insurer, make sure to provide all supporting documents. For example, in the case of an auto insurance claim, you may need to provide an accident report; for a life insurance claim, you may need to provide a death certificate.
Your policy lists the specific claims procedures you will need to follow.
Making a claim may increase your premiums. Some insurance companies offer a discount if you have not made any claims under your policy. This is often the case for home and auto insurance.
If the amount of your claim is only a little more than your deductible, consider whether you can afford to pay for the claim yourself.