I personally handle hundreds of insurance claims annually and there are many things that need to be clarified in the insurance industry.
1. When you file a claim can your rates go up or your policy cancelled? Answer: Your rate is determined by amount of claims paid out in a particular zip code. If a catastrophe happens and all your city/zip code is in need of repair, then your rates are likely to rise. Many people hold out so theirs won’t rise, but it will. File the claim…don’t just pay for your neighbor’s upgrade…get a new roof too!
2. My insurance loves me and my contractor is out to get me! Answer: Most contractors are just in to make a dollar and get out. Yes, there are bad contractors out there and they are exposed daily. But, you must understand that your insurance company is writing the check. They want to pay as little as possible. They aren’t bad people…just good business-minded people. There is also a misconception of an agent’s role in a claim. When you buy a car, you do not take it to your sales person for service. In fact, they don’t usually know when you are in for service. Agents are independent sales individuals for major companies but they can assist you in the process if you have problems. If you are having trouble with your insurance claims handler, call your agent. Don’t punish the agent because of a poor service claim. Agents can sway the outcome of a claim because they know you and have personal knowledge about you. Sometimes there is bad information in the system that can affect the outcome of a claim. Get your agent involved!
I’ll post more on this subject another time….