Insurance Claims: A Practical Guide, How Do They Work

 In Ozarks Live

How Do Insurance Claims Work?

Sirens, whipping wind, pounding hail, and loud crashes… sounds all too familiar in the Ozarks. Severe weather such as straight-line wind, ice, hail, lightning, tornadoes, and flooding are almost a way of life for people living in the Ozarks. The ice storm in 2007, the Joplin EF5 tornado in 2011, and the flooding in 2017, the hits just keep on coming.   

Most recently, in May 2020, our area experienced several severe storm systems that brought with them very large hail.  Many of our clients suffered damage from that system of storms, including myself!  This lead to an unprecedented number of insurance claims.  Personally, I had $5,200 in damage to my truck which ended up needing a new hood and paint, among other repairs.  Due to the overwhelming amount of damages to our community, the repair shops have been so busy I wasn’t able to get the repairs made to my truck until the end of August. 

With the inevitability of severe weather in the Ozarks, it is very important to have good insurance coverage, to understand your deductible, and to know how to make insurance claims when you need to use your coverage. 

Proper Insurance Coverage

Having ‘good’ insurance is about getting the coverage you need for the best possible price. If you justify your insurance choice by ONLY the cost it is quite possible that you may not have enough coverage for your needs. You can avoid this mistake by meeting with an insurance agent who will help you understand your policy and the coverage it provides.  The Independent Insurance Agents at The Resource Center can assist you in making sure you are well covered and can shop multiple companies to find the lowest cost option to meet your needs. Schedule an appointment or click to get a quote. 

Understanding Your Home Insurance Claims Deductible

Sometimes clients are in such a rush to purchase the lowest cost policy that they may end up overlooking the deductible amount that they are responsible for and purchase a policy with a much higher deductible than they would like. A deductible is an out-of-pocket amount the client is responsible for before the insurance company will pay the rest of the bill. All of the companies that The Resource Center does business with have different deductible options.   

Here are a few examples of deductible options:

  1. Flat Deductible on a $10,000 new roof.  With a flat $1,500 deductible, the roofing company may bill you for the $10,000 and the insurance company will send you a check for $8,500.
  2. Percent Deductible on a $10,000 new roof.  With a 1% deductible on a $400,000 home, your out of pocket would be $4,000.  The roofing company may bill you for $10,000 and the insurance company will send you a check for $6,000.  You will be responsible to pay the $4,000. 
  3. Actual Cash Value (ACV) on a $10,000 new roof.  This type is usually found on older roofs, since you have used your roof for x number of years we are going to value your roof at this amount.  An example would be the ACV value of your roof is $3,000.  If you have a claim on a $10,000 new roof you would be responsible for $7,000 and the insurance company would send you $3,000.   

Filing Home or Auto Insurance Claims

If you are in the unfortunate situation where you have experienced weather damage to your insured property the first thing I would recommend is to consult with your insurance agent and make sure that you understand your deductible and whether or not the damage will be covered by your insurance. 

The second step I would recommend is to start the insurance claims process with your insurance company. You can do so by calling the claims line, logging in to their website, or even by accessing the company’s app on your smartphone. 

The insurance claims process used to be a very long process as details had to be manually managed via paper and pen, but now with smartphone apps, texting, and email the insurance claims process can move much quicker and more smoothly. Some companies may even send text and email alerts with updates on your claim status, keeping you in the loop better than ever before.  

Here are the claim filing directions for several of our most frequently used companies:

Travelers Insurance

  • Go online to MyTravelers.com/Register 
  • Access MyTravelers through the Travelers Mobile app
  • Call 1(800)252-4633 

Safeco Insurance

  • Create your online account by visiting Safeco.com/registernow
  • Call 1(800)332-3226

Auto-Owners  Insurance

  • Go online to customercenter.auto-owners.com
  • Download Auto-Owners Mobile from your app store
  • Call 1(888)252-4626

Progressive Insurance

  • Download Progressive from your app store
  • Go to progresive.com/agent
  • Call 1(800)274-4499

Nationwide Insurance

  • Download Nationwide Mobile from your app store 
  • Go to nationwide.com/insurance-claims
  • Call 1(800)421-3535

 

Fun fact about me, my brother and I built a drag race car called The Silver Juice.  I’m the driver and we race in Rogersville, Mo, and all around the Midwest.  Come out and see me race sometime!

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance and investment products to custom suit their needs and objectives.  This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic financial planning strategies and should not be construed as financial advice.  All investments are subject to risk including the potential loss of principal.  No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.  

The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions.  

We are not permitted to offer, and no statement contained herein shall constitute, tax or legal advice.  Individuals are encouraged to consult with a qualified professional before making any decisions about their personal situation.  Our firm is not affiliated with the U. S. government or any governmental agency.  Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM).  AEWM and The Resource Center are not affiliated companies.  714578 – 9/20

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