When to Report an Insurance Claim

Kids are messy. That’s part of the deal. To mitigate this inevitable risk, my wife and I have a rule in our house: food stays in the kitchen unless supervised by Mom or Dad.

Several years ago, I went downstairs to watch a football game and noticed several greasy stains on a section of the couch. I tried to clean the stains, but to no avail. They had already set into the fabric. After a bit of investigation my daughter confessed. She had eaten some heavily buttered popcorn on the couch and spilled it, staining the couch in the process.

She didn’t tell me, of course, because she was worried about getting in trouble for breaking the rule. I explained to her that by not telling me or her mom, she allowed the stains to sit on the couch and set into the fabric. Now they were impossible to remove. Had she come to me immediately, we could have cleaned the stains and the couch could have been saved. I saw the light go on in her head as she realized how much easier it would have been to resolve the situation had she told me about it the moment it happened.

The principle in this story applies to insurance claims as well. One of the biggest mistakes companies and individuals make when filing a claim is not doing it in a timely manner. The sooner the insurance company knows about a claim the better they can respond to it. If there are any injuries involved in the incident, it is important that the insurance company knows about those as well. If you wait too long, it can severely complicate the process, and put at risk your ability to be covered or reimbursed.

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 immediately gather any pertinent information because situations can and do change.

Another advantage of reporting a claim quickly 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.

For more information on the ways we can help you protect your property or business, contact Beehive Insurance today.

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