Making an insurance claim can be a daunting process, but Nicol Insurance is here to help. We are well-versed in personal and commercial claims and are here to help guide you through the process. Continue reading for some helpful tips on making claims. If you are considering making a claim, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself first:
Is this an emergency?
If someone has been injured, if your home is uninhabitable, if your business needs to be closed, or if you require immediate services such as a tow truck or a restoration contractor, then you are facing an emergency situation. In this case, it is best to contact your insurance provider directly. They will be able to page adjusters who can activate emergency work orders and arrange the services you need quickly, without upfront payment.
Please note that only an adjuster can confirm your coverage for specific perils. If emergency services are paged, there is no guarantee that their work will be covered by insurance. If your claim is rejected, the cost of these emergency services will be on you, and not your insurance company.
Is it currently normal business hours?
Our regular office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. If you call during those hours, we will be able open your claim. If you are calling outside of business hours, your call will be forwarded to our after-hours claims service who will help you start your claim. They will be able to arrange for emergency services if you need them, but otherwise they will simply record the details of your claim and forward them to your insurance company for an adjuster to be assigned during normal work hours.
Do I have enough information to begin?
Before you begin a claim, it is important to collect as many details of the loss as possible for your insurance company. All details of the loss, the event surrounding the loss, as well as info on all parties involved will be important for your insurance company to process your claim quickly. This includes police reports and any pictures or video documentation of the loss, as they will give your adjuster the clearest picture of what really happened. If you and the other people involved in the loss are providing conflicting accounts of the incident, physical evidence will be the only way the adjusters will be able to come to a consensus.
It is especially important to collect all possible insurance information from the other parties involved in your claim. Your insurance company will always cover the costs even if the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance coverage. You may however be required to pay your deductible upfront, but you will be reimbursed at a later date.
Is it worthwhile to claim this?
While it is always wise to inform your insurance company of any damages or losses to your property, it may not always be wise to make a claim. If a small piece of property was damaged or stolen, or if minor damages were done to your vehicle, then it will be up to your discretion whether you want to claim or not. Keep in mind, if you are at-fault for the claim, or if fault cannot be laid against anyone else, then you will be responsible for paying your deductible to process the claim. Many minor losses end up being less expensive than the deductible itself, making it more sensible to handle the situation without involving your insurance company. It is also worth noting that your insurance rates may increase if you are determined at-fault for the claim, which would mean a larger monthly cost for your insurance. If you are unsure whether a loss is worth claiming or not, the Nicol team is here to help advise you.
How to make a claim
To begin the personal claims process, simply call or email us, or call your insurance company directly. We can set up a claim on your behalf between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. Outside of those hours, your information will be collected directly by your insurance company for processing the next business day.
Provide as much detail as possible, including:
What happens once a claim is submitted?
Once we have collected all the information and an adjuster has been assigned to your claim, they will be able to provide you with services based on your coverage. If you are in an emergency situation and require emergency services, they may be able to arrange them on your behalf right away.
Getting back to normal
Once the claim is set up, repairs can begin. For your convenience, most insurance companies will be partnered with vendors who can provide the repairs quickly, though you can choose any other vendor if those do not suit your needs. Hold onto receipts for any product or service paid for in regard to the claim. Receipts may be submitted for possible reimbursement.
Once fault has been decided by your adjuster, the claim will be processed based on your coverage. If you are covered, then you will be reimbursed for any repair/replacement costs after you pay your deductible.
To be clear, the assigned adjuster will be responsible for reading the underwriting of your policy and confirming your coverage. As insurance brokers, we at Nicol can tell you what is on your policy and collect the details of the claim, but we cannot determine fault or apply coverage. Only an insurance adjuster has the power to approve your claim or activate services.
Making a Commercial Claim is largely the same as personal claims, aside from a few key differences: