Filing an insurance claim doesn’t top anyone’s list of favorite activities. That said, it’s usually a far easier process than most people think.
To help ease any worries you may have, we’re debunking the most common claims myths.
Claims myth #1: My claims adjuster isn’t interested in helping me.
Your Erie Insurance claims adjuster truly wants to help you navigate the process. You can count on your adjuster to review your coverage, answer your questions, investigate your claim and keep you informed every step of the way.
If you’ve been in an auto accident, your adjuster will discuss your vehicle repair options with you. Your adjuster could also refer you to a rental car company (if your policy covers that).
Claims myth #2: Once I file my claim, I don’t need to do anything else.
It’s important to cooperate with your claims adjuster to ensure that your claim is processed quickly and accurately. This could mean preserving evidence, providing receipts or locating medical records if you were injured.
If you report your claim to your agent, expect a call from a claims adjuster before long. Often times they will have follow up questions, or just want to hear answers from the source.
Claims myth #3: It will take forever to settle my claim.
While processing times depend on the circumstances surrounding your claim, most claims have speedy resolutions. This is especially true if your claim is not a large loss. So, for instance, an auto claim involving a fender bender will generally be processed faster than a claim involving three cars and an uninsured driver. The same goes for home insurance claims: If there’s extensive fire damage, that claim will likely take longer than if a tree limb damaged your fence
Claims myth #4: I’ll get dropped if I file a claim.
This just doesn’t fly the vast majority of the time. rarely will a policy be dropped due to a claim; the only change might be an increase in your premium, but your agent will explain all the changes to you and help you be prepared.
However, there are factors that can lead to cancellation. They include being involved in multiple at-fault auto accidents in a short period of time; receiving multiple speeding tickets or a drunk driving citation; and incurring home damage caused by negligence, like serving alcohol to minors at a house party.
How long you’ve been a customer also matters. If it’s your first claim in 30 years, that’s less worrisome than filing a claim on day one of your policy. Often times, these things will be on a case by case basis.
Claims myth #5: It’s okay if my contractor tries to handle my claim.
Be wary if a contractor knocks on your door, points out home damage and tells you that he’ll handle your claim. These kinds of contractors commonly appear after storms and are often bad news. Many of these “storm chasers” are not licensed in public adjusting, so they may not know what they’re doing. Others may try to scam you.
Even reputable contractors won’t be familiar with your insurance policy and processes, and hiring a contractor instead of contacting your agent can lead to big problems later- especially if your contractor turns out to be a scam!
Claims myth #6: Since I’ve been paying premiums all these years, it’s okay to exaggerate my loss to get some extra money back.
Many people don’t realize that padding a claim can be considered a form of insurance fraud. Don’t inflate your claim to fatten your reimbursement—in most states, insurance fraud is a felony.
Be honest with your agent, they only want to help!