Do you have an umbrella policy? Do you know how to make a claim properly? I never thought about these questions until it was too late and I needed to file a claim with my insurance company. Jane Doe was walking down my sidewalk when she tripped over the crack that was in need of repair. She fell into my yard and damaged her knee. This ended up requiring a new knee, surgery and an extended hospital stay. She had to take time off of work so lost wages and pain and suffering were also a problem. I have an umbrella policy.
This policy covers liability that my homeowners, auto and other insurances may not cover or may not fully cover. This is the policy I have specifically to protect myself from these catastrophes. My umbrella policy is a very valuable tool in protecting my assets. What happens if Jane Doe falls in your yard and you are found at fault due to that crack in your sidewalk? Your homeowner policy may only cover $250,000.00 in liability and the bills start adding up to $500,000.00. Then you get a notice that a lawsuit for damages, pain and suffering has been filed. This is where your umbrella policy will pick up the additional costs and keep you solvent.
The first step to filing a claim is to notify your insurance person as quickly as possible or within 24 hours that an accident has occurred on your property. There are two different kinds of damages, economic and non-economic. Economic is your medical bills and loss of income or property. Non-economic such as pain and suffering are hard to determine but never the less you may still be liable for these charges.
Keep it simple and talk to your insurance person. Write down your version of what happened exactly and give this to your insurance person. This will help you by keeping a written record of what happened. Over time you can start to forget the details of an accident and a written account is very helpful. You will be contacted by the victim’s insurance company and possibly their lawyer. Refer these calls back to your insurance company unless instructed otherwise by your adjustor. Let your insurance person do his or her job that is why you pay them.
The victim’s lawyer and insurance company have one goal and that is to make sure that you pay the maximum possible. This is why you have insurance and the best way to handle this is to let the professionals take care of the situation. Document everything that you can and keep good records. Be available for questions from your insurance adjustor and try to stay positive throughout the claim process.
Your insurance adjustor wants to make money for his or her company and will do their level best to pay out less than the victims lawyer is demanding. Take a deep breath and trust that your insurance company will take care of you. Category: Insurance