File A Claim or Make A Payment
Automobile Insurance and Claims
What to do if you’re in an automobile accident:
According to the latest statistics by the National Safety Council, one in eight licensed drivers is involved in an automobile accident each year. Whether or not you become one of those unfortunate drivers involved in a collision, the following information can help you lessen the headaches and expense of an accident. In case of an accident:
- Don’t leave the scene.
- If vehicles are operable, move them to the shoulder and out of the way of oncoming traffic.
- Call for medical assistance if there are any injuries.
- In many areas, you have to call the police. Get the officer’s name, badge number, police station address, and phone number. Ask when the accident report will be filed, its case and report number, and how you can get a copy.
- Take careful note of the date and time of the accident, the street and city, weather and road conditions, direction and speed you and other drivers were going, and how the accident occurred.
- Take photos of the damages if a camera is available.
What you need in your glove compartment:
- Your insurance card
- Your vehicle registration
- List of emergency numbers
- Medical card listing medication allergies and/or any specific health condition you have that would require special attention
Homeowners Insurance and Claims
A homeowners insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company. You should understand the policy before a loss occurs. Review your policy with your insurance representative so you’ll know what’s covered.
When filing your claim:
- Report any burglary or theft to police.
- Phone your agent or company immediately.
- Make temporary repairs and take other steps to protect your property from further damage.
- Save receipts for what you spend and submit them to your insurance company.
- Prepare a list of lost or damaged articles.
- Perform any other duties specified in your policy.
A form of insurance that pays damages equal to the replacement value of damaged property minus depreciation.
Extra charges covered by homeowners policies over and above the policyholder’s customary living expenses. They kick in when the insured requires temporary shelter due to damage by a covered peril that makes the home temporarily uninhabitable.
An individual employed by a property/casualty insurer to evaluate losses and settle policyholder claims. These adjusters differ from public adjusters, who negotiate with insurers on behalf of policyholders and receive a portion of a claims settlement. Independent adjusters are independent contractors who adjust claims for different insurance companies.
Companies that market and sell products via independent agents.
Insurance is sold by two types of agents: independent agents, who are self-employed, represent several insurance companies, and are paid on commission, and exclusive or captive agents, who represent only one insurance company and are salaried or work on commission. Insurance companies that use exclusive or captive agents are called direct writers.
Procedure in which an insurance company and the insured, or a vendor, agree to settle a claim dispute by accepting a decision made by a third party.
Temporary authorization of coverage issued prior to the actual insurance policy.
Portion of an auto insurance policy that covers injuries the policyholder causes to someone else.
A security that obligates the issuer to pay interest at specified intervals and to repay the principal amount of the loan at maturity. In insurance, a form of suretyship. Bonds of various types guarantee a payment or a reimbursement for financial losses resulting from dishonesty, failure to perform, and other acts.
Acronym for “Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.” A federal law under which group health plans sponsored by employers with 20 or more employees must offer continuation of coverage to employees who leave their jobs and their dependents. The employee must pay the entire premium. Coverage can be extended up to 18 months. Surviving dependents can receive longer coverage.
- In property insurance, requires the policyholder to carry insurance equal to a specified percentage of the value of property to receive full payment on a loss.
- For health insurance, it is a percentage of each claim above the deductible paid by the policyholder. For a 20 percent health insurance coinsurance clause, the policyholder pays for the deductible plus 20 percent of his covered losses. After paying 80 percent of losses up to a specified ceiling, the insurer starts paying 100 percent of losses.
Portion of an auto insurance policy that covers the damage to the policyholder’s car from a collision.
Portion of an auto insurance policy that covers damage to the policyholder’s car not involving a collision with another car (including damage from fire, explosions, earthquakes, floods, and riots), and theft.
Protection against damage to growing crops from hail, fire, or lightning provided by the private market. By contrast, multiple peril crop insurance covers a wider range of yield-reducing conditions, such as drought and insect infestation, and is subsidized by the federal government.
Part of a property or liability insurance policy that states the name and address of policyholder, property insured, its location and description, the policy period, premiums, and supplemental information. Referred to as the “dec page.”
The amount of loss paid by the policyholder. This is either a specified dollar amount, a percentage of the claim amount, or a specified amount of time that must elapse before benefits are paid. The bigger the deductible, the lower the premium charged for the same coverage.
Loss in value of an assset; value of damaged item at the time of loss.
A written form attached to an insurance policy that alters the policy’s coverage, terms, or conditions. Sometimes called a rider.
A provision in an insurance policy that eliminates coverage for certain risks, people, property classes, or locations.
Record of losses.
Possibility of loss.
An endorsement added to an insurance policy, or clause within a policy, that provides additional coverage for risks other than those in a basic policy.
Pays a certain amount above the policy limit to replace a damaged home, generally 120 percent or 125 percent. Similar to a guaranteed replacement cost policy, which has no percentage limits. Most homeowner policy limits track inflation in building costs. Guaranteed and extended replacement cost policies are designed to protect the policyholder after a major disaster when the high demand for building contractors and materials can push up the normal cost of reconstruction.
Coverage for flood damage is available from the federal government under the National Flood Insurance Program, but is sold by licensed insurance agents. Flood coverage is excluded under homeowners policies and many commercial property policies. However, flood damage is covered under the comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy
Homeowners policy that pays the full cost of replacing or repairing a damaged or destroyed home, even if it is above the policy limit.
A provision added to a homeowners insurance policy that automatically adjusts the coverage limit on the dwelling each time the policy is renewed to reflect current construction costs.
This broad type of coverage was developed for shipments that do not involve ocean transport. Covers articles in transit by all forms of land and air transportation as well as bridges, tunnels and other means of transportation and communication. Floaters that cover expensive personal items such as fine art and jewelry are included in this category
Insurance for what the policyholder is legally obligated to pay because of bodily injury or property damage caused to another person.
Maximum amount of insurance that can be paid for a covered loss.
Long-term care (LTC) insurance pays for services to help individuals who are unable to perform certain activities of daily living without assistance, or require supervision due to a cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease. LTC is available as individual insurance or through an employer-sponsored or association plan.
A reduction in the quality or value of a property, or a legal liability.
A provision in homeowners and renters insurance policies that reimburses policyholders for any extra living expenses due to having to live elsewhere while their home is being restored following a disaster.
Percentage of each premium dollar an insurer spends on claims.
The company’s best estimate of what it will pay for claims, which is periodically readjusted. They represent a liability on the insurer’s balance sheet.
A coverage in which the insurer agrees to reimburse the insured and others up to a certain limit for medical or funeral expenses as a result of bodily injury or death by accident. Payments are without regard to fault.
A package policy, such as a homeowners or business insurance policy, that provides coverage against several different perils. It also refers to the combination of property and liability coverage in one policy. In the early days of insurance, coverage for property damage and liability were purchased separately.
Peril specifically mentioned as covered in an insurance policy.
A written notice required by insurance companies immediately after an accident or other loss. Part of the standard provisions defining a policyholder’s responsibilities after a loss.
Insurance that pays claims arising out of incidents that occur during the policy term, even if they are filed many years later.
A specific risk or cause of loss covered by an insurance policy, such as a fire, windstorm, flood, or theft. A named-peril policy covers the policyholder only for the risks named in the policy in contrast to an all-risk policy, which covers all causes of loss except those specifically excluded.
Portion of an auto insurance policy that covers the treatment of injuries to the driver and passengers of the policyholder’s car.
Property/casualty insurance products that are designed for and bought by individuals, including homeowners and automobile policies.
A written contract for insurance between an insurance company and policyholder stating details of coverage.
The price of an insurance policy, typically charged annually or semiannually.
Documents showing the insurance company that a loss occurred.
Insurance that pays the dollar amount needed to replace damaged personal property or dwelling property without deducting for depreciation, but limited by the maximum dollar amount shown on the declarations page of the policy.
Damaged property an insurer takes over to reduce its loss after paying a claim. Insurers receive salvage rights over property on which they have paid claims, such as badly damaged cars. Insurers that paid claims on cargoes lost at sea now have the right to recover sunken treasures. Salvage charges are the costs associated with recovering that property.
A list of individual items or groups of items that are covered under one policy or a listing of specific benefits, charges, credits, assets, or other defined items.
The legal process by which an insurance company, after paying a loss, seeks to recover the amount of the loss from another party who is legally liable for it.
The condition of an automobile or other property when damage is so extensive that repair costs would exceed the value of the vehicle or property.
Coverage for losses above the limit of an underlying policy or policies such as homeowners and auto insurance. While it applies to losses over the dollar amount in the underlying policies, terms of coverage are sometimes broader than those of underlying policies.
Portion of an auto insurance policy that provides additional coverage if the insured is involved in a not at fault accident and the at fault parties limits of liability aren’t high enough to cover the insured medical bills.
Examining, accepting, or rejecting insurance risks and classifying the ones that are accepted, in order to charge appropriate premiums for them.
Portion of an auto insurance policy that provides additional coverage if the insured is involved in a not at fault accident and the at fault party doesn’t have auto insurance. This coverage will cover medical expenses only.
The malicious and often random destruction or spoilage of another person’s property.