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What do I need to file a claim?
Different types of insurance have different processes for filing claims. Below are some of the most common procedures to follow.
Vehicle insuranceThese steps are especially important if another driver is at fault. When you’re involved in an accident with another vehicle or person:
- Call the police to document the accident
- Take notes about the scene, writing down date and time; what lead to the accident; driver behaviors; traffic conditions; weather conditions; number of passengers in the other vehicle
- If you have a camera or a phone with camera, take pictures of the scene
- Get names and contact information of witnesses
Obtain Information from the other driver:
- Vehicle license plate information
- Name, address, drivers license number
- Their auto insurer and policy number
- Their vehicle registration information
Filing the claim
- Call your insurer right away. Don’t avoid reporting an accident
- Contact your Starion agent
- Be sure to get a claim number as well as contact information for the claims adjuster
Homeowners insuranceThe first step is to be sure your family is safe and emergency personnel have been called. Then take these steps:
- As soon as practical, take pictures of the damage
- Work to prevent further damage, such as covering a hole in the roof with a tarp and moving undamaged furniture and other items to a safe place
- Keep receipts for money spent to prevent further losses
- Don't repair anything or dispose of ruined property until an adjuster has examined everything
- If you were burglarized, call the police first and your insurance agent later. Police reports will be needed to document your claim
- For injuries on your property, such as if someone trips and falls on your steps, be sure their medical needs are taken care of first. Take photos of the scene and be sure you have detailed notes about what happened
Filing the claim
- Contact your insurance agent as soon as practical; your insurer will send claim forms for you to complete and return
- Ask about time limits for filing claims, details about what’s covered, and how to get repair estimates
- If available, submit an inventory of your possessions with your claim along with photos of damage, receipts, police reports, and other evidence concerning the loss.
- Keep notes about any promises you’re given, date and time of each contact, and names and titles of people you deal with.
- Make sure the adjuster sees everything. Get a copy of their report and check for mistakes. You’re entitled to a copy of your claims file.
- Copy everything you give the adjuster and ask for a receipt. If you’re advised to start repairs, get that in writing so that information can be passed on if your case is transferred to another person.
- If you get payments up front for temporary living expenses, review any documents before signing them.
Life InsuranceWhen filing a claim, contact your Starion agent and the insurer. You’ll need to send the insurer a claim form for each beneficiary along with a certified copy of the policyholder’s death certificate.
While many people tell their attorney(s) or beneficiaries where to find information on life insurance coverage, you may also have to check their personal files for the policy itself or billing statements. You may be able to locate bank statements for canceled checks to a life insurer, which can help. Another option is to contact the Employee Benefits office of the insured's previous employers or unions.
When filing a claim, you might need to tell how benefits should be paid. Some common methods include a lump sum, installments over a set period, periodic payments, or interest earnings only with the principal going to a secondary beneficiary upon your death.
Agents are ready to help
Insurance can be complex, and if you have any questions or need help understanding the claims process, contact your Starion insurance agent for assistance.
Starion Bank is a full-service financial institution with branches in North Dakota and Wisconsin.