Homeowners who live in Los Angeles know that the threat of fire is always looming, particularly during the late Summer to early Fall. That’s why fire insurance has become so essential as a way to safeguard the home and everything in it.
But while owning fire insurance can be relatively cut and dry, filing a fire insurance claim los angeles may not be as straightforward and simple. It’s one thing to purchase a policy, it’s another to get to the company from whom you bought it to provide you with the money you deserve in the event of loss due to fire.
The claims process can be complicated and if you aren’t fully aware of what to expect and how to act at every step along the way, you may be left paying more out of pocket than you initially anticipated.
With that in mind, here is everything you need to know about filing a fire insurance claim los angeles.
How to Start your Fire Insurance Claim Los Angeles
It all starts with your policy. If you currently own fire insurance already, when is the last time you reviewed the policy? Chances are it’s been a long while. But you could be putting yourself at risk by not revisiting your fire insurance policy on an annual basis. Doing so can help your claims process go by a lot more smoothly because it allows you to readjust the limits of your coverage as your life or your situation changes.
So before you file any claim, read your policy. That’s the only place where you can be sure about knowing what type of coverage you own, what is covered and what is not, and the requirements that are in place for filing a claim. If you have any questions whatsoever or you can’t find any aspect of this information in your paperwork, do not hesitate to call your agent or representative.
Contacting Your Insurance Provider
The time to reach out to your insurance company to file a claim is immediately after you have suffered a loss. Many providers will actually set a deadline for which you can file the claim and your policy should outline this criteria, including how you should file the claim, how long you have to do it, and the information or paperwork that needs to be submitted.
At the time you file your fire insurance claim Los Angeles, you will need to include a statement outlining how you suffered the loss and the extent of the damage that was done by the fire. Just about every insurance company has explicitly specific criteria relating to the amount of information that they need in order to process a claim.
In order to get your fire insurance claim Los Angeles processed in a timely manner, you must be as thorough and complete as possible when you are providing the company with the critical information necessary. Failing to do so could delay the processing of your claim or it could affect your reimbursement on an item that is covered and should be repaired or replaced under your coverage.
Holding your Insurance Company Accountable
One of the more common mistakes that policyholders commit is supplying all of the information to their insurance company to get the claim started and then just sitting back and waiting for the provider to get back to them with a check.
Depending on the extent of the claim and the policy coverage owned by the policyholder, you could be waiting longer than you might expect to get the money they feel is deserved. In the state of California, the law mandates that any insurance company take no longer than 30 days to respond to a claim.
That response is typically provided after the insurance company brings in a claims representative to read over your policy and assess your coverage limits, determine what is included and excluded, analyze how much of a deductible you will need to pay out and assess other assorted data.
After that initial determination has been completed, the claims representative will submit a letter to you that explains everything he or she has assess from your policy and inform you how the insurer plans to proceed with your claim.
Despite the required 30 day window, most insurers should be able to send over their claims letter after just two weeks. Therefore, it falls upon the policyholder to follow up on the status of the claim and try to get an answer ahead of the full 30 days. The sooner you receive this letter describing the insurer’s analysis of your claim, the quicker the claim can be fully processed or, if you disagree with the response you’ve received, the sooner you can contact the company and explain your position.
It’s important to keep in mind that your insurance company has a responsibility to you so that your claim is managed correctly. They are bound by law to outline which coverages are suitable and available to their customers for the claim they intend to file. Many companies fail to do this, which is in direct violation of California state law.
As a policyholder, it’s up to you to make sure that your insurer is on the up-and-up when it comes to responding in a timely manner and disclosing information such as this (or other data that they are bound to provide). But even more important, you should not assume the insurer’s responsibility for the investigation into the claim. Many companies will pass that duty on to the policyholder as a way to avoid liability in the event a mistake is made on the part of their contractor. So they will usually pass the hiring of the contractor to investigate the claim over to the policyholder.
Don’t let your insurer do this to you because you are taking a big risk. If the contractor you hire makes any mistakes, you will be the one who ends up paying the price, so to speak. Any fire insurance claim Los Angeles should be conducted by a licensed contractor approved by the insurance company.
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