For those of you who know me well enough, I am considered somewhat of a “clean freak”. I have three wonderful kids (ages 13, 11, & 6) who at times tend to be a bit messy. I get it, kids will be kids, right? In an effort to reduce some of the messiness, one of the rules at our house is that food stays in the kitchen unless mom or dad can be around to supervise what food is being taken out of the kitchen and where it is going.
A few nights ago I went downstairs to watch a football game and noticed numerous oil spots all over a section of our couch. The spots had to have been there for a while because I had not been around the couch for a few days. After an unsuccessful attempt to completely remove the stains I went to find out who broke the rule. It turns out that my 11 year old had enjoyed some heavily buttered popcorn on the couch a few nights before, and as kids will be kids, she got a bit messy with it.
She was aware of the stains but didn’t want to tell me because she knew she had broken a rule and thought I would be upset about the stains. I explained to her that aside from breaking the rule it would have been better for her to tell me about the stains when she first spilled the popcorn because then I would have been able to remove the stains better. I could see the light go on in her head when she realized this would have been a lot easier situation to deal with if she had told me about it when it happened.
Just like this simple example, one of the top mistakes made when filing a claim is not doing so in a timely manner. The sooner the insurance company knows about a claim the better they will be able to respond to it. Take pictures, write down notes, and get any information you can while it’s still fresh on your mind. Even if you think you might not file the claim, it’s still a good idea to gather any pertinent information.
Another advantage of reporting claims in a timely manner is that it can help keep the total cost of the claim down. Numerous studies have shown that claim costs increase significantly the longer you wait to report a claim. Accidents happen – that’s just the way life goes. But whether it’s spots on a couch or an accident at work, taking care of accidents right away is always easier than waiting and finding out that it’s harder to deal with later.