posted on Jan, 1 2008 @ 02:16 AM
Originally posted by Enthralled Fan
Most insurance companies will tell you to photograph all of the contents in your home and to keep the receipts for purchases. If you don't do that
they will weezle out of it. Keep the records in a safe place.
A photographic or video record of your personal property is actually recommended by many insurance companies. Keeping the receipts for big ticket
items is also a good idea. The primary reason for the receipts is it provides a purchase date for the item.
The purchase date is used for determining the depreciated value of the property. If your policy doesn't have a replacement cost clause attached then
they will pay the depreciated or "actual cash value" (ACV). It also plays a role if you have replacement cost.
First, the company pays the ACV until you replace the item and provide proof of replacement at which time they reimburse for the difference. Second,
a little known fact is that most replacement cost clauses have a limit of, IIRC, 200% of the ACV. So if the ACV is $50, then they will pay up to $100
If you have all of the above, call them everyday to find out what the status of your claim is. Give them no mercy!
To use an old saying... you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. If the company is being unreasonable, then absolutely give it to them with both
barrels. However, it is always best to first give them a chance to take care of things. Auto accident claims with no injuries generally can take up
to a week or two to fully settle. If your car is stolen, then you're looking at 30 days or so -- it's written in the contract. Home fires and such
will vary widely depending on the extent of damage and circumstances. As for life insurance, they have up to six months to pay, but most companies
will pay in a matter of a few weeks.
Also remember, they are in business to make money and will come up with every excuse they can not to pay you what they owe.
Yes, they are in business to make money. As for coming up with excuses, your mileage may vary. Most companies don't play games at claim time
because of the potential for bad press. Also they have to answer to the state insurance commissioners for any claims of unfair claims practices.
Sometimes it takes having an attorney fire off a letter to get satisfaction.
Sometimes, most times an attorney is not necessary. Notable exceptions are when serious physical injuries are involved. It also helps to be a well
informed consumer. For example, most companies these days do not go by the traditional blue book value when they settle claims for total losses on
vehicles. They go by the average cost to replace in your area. So if used vehicles of similar year/make/model/condition are selling for less then
they pay less.
I know these things because I was an insurance agent for 20+ years. While things do change over time, the basic principals remain. It's always best
to consult with your agent to get answers to your specific situation.