Fifteen minutes before closing, I receive the craziest phone calls. This past Friday is no exception. That day I received a call from an insured complaining about the price increase to her auto insurance policy.
Because of climate change and the increasing cost of replacing new car technology, this is not unusual nowadays. But when I looked at her policy, there is a sea of policy service notes and numerous requests for supervisor call backs. I also see there was a claim with a very high liability pay out in 2016. A pay out so high, I was shocked they hadn’t canceled the policy.
Her longevity, credit, and business stopped that from happening. When I pointed this out to her, she denied the accident costing more than $50. She claimed the other driver was not hurt, didn’t need medical care, and should not be receiving any money from us.
In fact, she was going to go see the other driver and get them to sign an affidavit stating they were committing fraud. This leads me to the following tips of what not to do after a claim.
1) Do not harass the claimant
As the insurance company, our part of the policy contract is to make the insured whole. Depending on your coverage and policy limits, we will cover any bills caused by your negligence, repair your car, pay for legal fees, hire a lawyer to defend you, and make sure that within a short period of time we get you back to celebrating life.
This means, let us do the heavy lifting. If there is something amiss, let us take care of it. We have the technology, the smarts and training to figure it out all by ourselves.
2) Do not admit liability
Yes, you feel bad about what has happened. The police officer, the claimant, and the onlookers are going to make it seem like it is the right thing to do. But what if they are wrong? An admission of guilt is hard to disprove.
Besides, this is not them against you. You did not cause this on purpose. At any accident scene, be kind, generous, and cooperative. That goes farther than you think.
3) Do not call policy service
On your identification card, policy jacket and/or company website is the direct number to claims. You want to call that number to report the claim.
Time and again I see insureds get held up because they called policy service after the accident to add coverage, reinstate a policy, or ask an hour worth of crazy hypothetical questions. Let me say this, put the shovel down, that hole is deep enough, you don’t need any further problems.
Just focus on what needs to be done – call the police, exchange information, call the claims department.
I have had conversations with those eighty-year-old grandmas out there who are laying in a hospital bed worried they won’t be able to get the police report to us in time. Please remember, insurance is about that claim you may have. Why would you buy a policy and then do all the legwork?
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