Personal Insurance Claims FAQ
For your convenience, below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding personal insurance claims, including home and car insurance.
What should I do if I am involved in an accident?
- Contact the police while at the scene of the accident.
- Record the following information prior to leaving the scene:
- Names of all parties involved (including drivers and passengers), along with addresses, phone numbers, license numbers, dates of birth and insurance agent/carrier.
- Names and phone numbers of any witnesses.
- Make, color and license plate numbers of all vehicles.
- If anyone leaves the scene (i.e. hit and run), any descriptive information about the vehicle(s) and occupant(s) that may assist in the investigation of the claim.
- The specific location of the accident and the identity of any police or rescue personnel that responded to the scene (i.e. city police, sheriff, highway patrol, fire/rescue).
Immediately contact our agency (330-867-3140)to report the claim, identifying any known physical damage to property and bodily injury to persons.
What is comprehensive damage?
Comprehensive damage is any loss to your vehicle due to circumstances other than a collision with another vehicle. Some examples include:
- Your vehicle hits a deer or any other animal.
- A grocery cart blows into your vehicle.
- A branch falls from a tree onto your vehicle.
- A golf ball or baseball flies into your car.
What is collision?
A collision is when there is an upset with your vehicle or impact with another vehicle or object.
Did you know that some glass chips can be repaired without replacing the entire windshield? Check your policy or call us to see if your insurance company will waive your deductible on repairs. That means no out-of-pocket expense to you.
What qualifies as property damage?
Property damage is when someone, who is not the owner or a natural phenomenon, causes damage to your property. This can occur from a storm, fire or another’s negligence.
It’s important to help yourself by preparing ahead of time for the unexpected by taking the following steps:
- Maintain up-to-date duplicate financial and property ownership records at an off-site location.
- Keep current inventories of your property (pictures and videos are helpful).
What do I do if a loss occurs?
- Contact authorities (i.e. fire, police, etc.).
- Contact our agency (330-867-3140)as soon as possible. If you reach us outside of regular business hours, be sure to leave a message with your policy number and contact information where you can be reached, including cell phone numbers and operable land phone numbers.
- Take reasonable steps to protect property from further damage. This may include covering holes in the roof or extracting water. Maintain receipts and records of all your expenses.
- Preserve the loss-scene areas by preventing persons, other than public authorities and contractors performing emergency repairs, from entering.
- Do not attempt to use electric devices exposed to fire, smoke or water.
- If possible, take photos or video of damaged property.
- Do not discard damaged property or begin repairs without prior discussions with your claims representative.
Frequently Asked Property Damage Questions
If a storm causes a tree to fall onto my home, does my homeowners policy cover the damage?
Tree removal is a typical endorsement to homeowners policies, so your policy will most likely cover the damage.
Do regular homeowner policies cover flood damage?
Not likely. Typical homeowner policies do not cover flood damage. Be sure to ask your agent if your policy covers flood damage and if a policy is available to ensure you are covered. This is a very good idea for those who live in low-lying areas, and near streams and creeks.
What does flood insurance cover?
Flood insurance covers any damage from water that rises from the ground towards your personal property.
Is sewer backup covered under my flood insurance policy?
No. Typically, there is an endorsement that can be added onto your homeowners policy that will make sure you are covered for any sewer damage.
Is it necessary to cover all of my jewelry?
We recommend scheduling all of your high-valued jewelry in case any becomes damaged or lost. When personal items are scheduled, they are listed in your policy with separate, often broader coverage than a standard item. Contact us today to find out how to protect your personal belongings.
How SeibertKeck Handles Your Claim:
As your agent, we will report your claim to your carrier within 24 hours of receiving notice and begin the process of handling your claim. Your carrier will provide a qualified professional claims representative to explain your coverage, review the claim made against you, and assess the damages. In addition, they will pay your loss promptly in accordance with policy terms and conditions. If necessary, they will also settle or defend legal actions against you in accordance with policy terms and conditions.
Occasionally, lawsuits do result from claims. A liability lawsuit is a serious matter, and in many cases, what you do in the early stages will have a major bearing on the outcome. Make sure to take the following steps:
- Retain all documents, including post-marked envelopes.
- Immediately report the claim to your agent and send a copy of the summons and complaints to him or her, so that it can be reported promptly to the carrier.
- If you receive a suit during the process of the claim handling, immediately contact the adjuster assigned to handle your claim. If you do not have record of this information, please contact our agency (330-867-3140)so we can assist in reporting the lawsuit to the claims adjuster.
- Do not discuss the lawsuit with anyone other than your claims manager, company adjuster, counsel assigned to defend your interest or your personal counsel unless otherwise approved by one of the aforementioned parties.