Mistakes When Filing a Claim with Your Insurance Company
You carry insurance to protect your interests against unpredictable, unforeseeable incidents, knowing that you could suffer significant losses without having a safety net in place. There are also legal requirements to procure insurance in many situations. Maryland auto insurance laws require motorists to have at least $30,000 in coverage for bodily injury and $60,000 for injuries to more than one victim. Businesses may need insurance to comply with statutes or regulations, and homeowners usually need a policy to meet the demands of a lender.
Therefore, there are many types of insurance you deal with on a regular basis. You hope circumstances never force you to file a claim, but chances are high that you will need to take advantage of the protections that you bought. The process involves more than just filling out some forms, which might come as a surprise when your claim is denied due to serious errors. It is essential to consult with an Owings Mills insurance claim lawyer to avoid these mistakes when filing a claim.
You do not understand your policy. If you are not familiar with the coverages and related details, it is a mistake to even submit a claim under your auto, homeowners, or business policy. You must first carefully review the documentation to know whether your losses are covered and whether any exceptions apply. For instance, if you did not purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage as part of your auto insurance, you cannot file a claim with your insurer for medical costs after a car accident.
You failed to file by the stated deadlines. All insurance companies have time limits on how long you have to file a claim, and they are relatively short. You might only have 30 days or a few weeks to submit your documentation. The insurance company could deny your claim for failure to meet the deadline, but there may be options to extend it.
Your claim did not include sufficient documentation. When you file a claim with your own insurer, it is known as a first-party claim because you have a direct contractual relationship with the company. Still, insurers do not pay claims without conducting a thorough investigation, starting with the forms and supporting documents you submit. If you do not provide information sufficient to meet the insurance company’s standards, your claim could be denied. Examples include:
- Accident and police reports;
- Receipts from repairs; and,
- Pictures of damage to property.
You failed to contact authorities. When the loss you sustained is the result of criminal activity, your insurance policy may require you to alert law enforcement. Your claim might be denied if you failed to call 911 after a break-in affecting your home, business, or vehicle.
Avoid Errors with Help from a Maryland Insurance Claims Attorney
Mistakes are preventable when you have legal knowledge and extensive experience working with insurance companies. Our team at Furman | Honick Law is dedicated to pursuing first-party insurance claims and ensuring you get fair payment under your policy. To set up a free case review, please call 410-844-6000 or visit our website.