Should I File a Claim?
Here are some things to consider if you are deciding whether to file a claim:
- Was anyone injured?
- Did you damage someone else’s property or vehicle?
- Is it unsafe to live in your home or drive your car?
- Are the damages above your deductible?
- Is it just a maintenance issue or normal wear-and-tear?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you should consider filing a claim. That way we can begin collecting the information needed to resolve your claim quickly. If you have questions about filing a claim, call our service department at 757-448-3820 to speak to a dedicated Claims Advocate or contact your carrier directly.
In the meantime, browse our claims resources below to find guidance on the most frequently asked questions.
The Claims Process
Our role as your Claims Advocate is to ensure you receive the highest level of service from our partners while utilizing your coverage to its fullest ability. We’re available to address your coverage questions as they arise and to advocate on your behalf when necessary.
What is a Claims Advocate?
We’re glad you asked! As an advisor and trusted resource, the Claims Advocate serves as a primary contact to our clients to:
- Review their policy and discuss the details of a loss
- Give customized service throughout the claims process
- Provide clear and timely information before, during and after a claim
- Proactively help the client to achieve a prompt and fair settlement
- How do I file a claim?
If you need to file a claim, make sure to call us first! Our team will help you determine if a claim should be filed and connect you with the insurance carrier to start the claims process. We will even follow up throughout the claim if needed.
Keep in mind, before filing a claim you’ll want to get an estimate of the damages before making permanent repairs. For home claims, consider calling a plumber or roofer to stop any issues that may cause permanent damage, like an active leak.
Call 757-448-3820 for our dedicated Claims Advocacy team to help walk you through this process.
- Can I get a damage estimate before filing a claim?
Yes, we recommend obtaining an estimate before filing a claim. Once you have your estimate, give us a call to discuss your options. We’ll also look at your policy with you to see if your estimate is above your deductible.
- If my home was damaged, can I start repairs?
If a natural disaster has caused significant damage to your home, you may be tempted to begin repairs right away. We get it, you just want your life back to normal. But these small repairs can mask a lot of the damage and will make it hard for an adjuster to make a fair estimate of the repair costs.
Temporary fixes that could help prevent any further damage are a good idea, but it’s best to wait until after the insurance adjuster has taken a good solid look at your property to make permanent repairs.
- What if my home is burglarized?
Your first step is to ensure that you and your family are safe, and then, call the police. When the police arrive, they will complete a report with all the important info regarding your situation. This report is necessary when you file your claim and will help expedite the whole process. Make sure you also create a detailed list of your lost or damaged items, including their estimated values, and have that ready when you contact your insurance company.
- How long will my car insurance claim take?
Every claim is unique, and many factors determine how long it will take. Giving your claims advocate all the necessary details and documentation will help keep your claim process moving smoothly.
- Will I have to pay my deductible if I’m not at fault?
Maybe. For certain coverage types, you’ll pay a deductible even if you aren’t at fault. But, if there’s a chance your insurance could recover the amount paid, including your deductible from the person responsible, they will. If they aren’t successful, you can choose to try to recover the deductible yourself.
- What is a Deductible?
A deductible on your insurance policy is what you pay before the insurance kicks in. This is to prevent extremely small claims from being filed as insurance is for larger emergencies. For example, if your home deductible is $1,000 and you have $10,000 in damages, the insurance company will pay the contractor repairing it $9,000, and you would pay your $1,000 deductible.
Many policies in Hampton Roads have a separate, higher wind deductible for damage done by storms, so be sure to look at your policy carefully to understand your deductible amounts and coverage.
- Is flood covered on home insurance?
Flood is almost never covered on home insurance policies in Virginia. It is a separate policy through FEMA or a private flood market.
- What’s the difference between Liability Coverage and Full Coverage?
Liability is the bare minimum coverage needed to cover injuries, while full coverage protects your vehicle if it was in a collision or stolen.
Liability coverage pays out when you injure someone else or someone injures you and that person doesn’t have insurance. It’s also mandated you have this coverage through your state DMV for all registered vehicles.
Full coverage combines comprehensive and collision coverage on your vehicle. Comprehensive covers things that aren’t a collision, such as flooding, theft, or fire. Collision covers your car in the event of a collision with another car or object. So without full coverage, you don’t have any actual coverage to repair or replace your vehicle.
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