Filing an insurance claim doesn’t top anyone’s list of favorite activities. That said, it’s usually a far easier process than most people think.
To help ease any worries you may have, we’re debunking the most common claims myths — and sharing information about how Erie Insurance in particular is there in your time of need.
Claims myth #1: My claims adjuster isn’t interested in helping me.
Your Erie Insurance claims adjuster truly wants to help you navigate the process. You can count on your adjuster to review your coverage, answer your questions, investigate your claim and keep you informed every step of the way.
If you’ve been in an auto accident, your adjuster will discuss your vehicle repair options with you. Some suggestions could include repair facilities that are part of ERIE’s Direct Repair Program, which include independent auto repair shops and dealerships approved by ERIE. Your adjuster could also refer you to a rental car company (if your policy covers that).
“We can even send field adjusters and appraisers to survey your home or car’s damage,” says Kristy Musselman, vice president and claims manager, Indiana Branch. “Unlike many other insurers, the majority of the time the claims adjusters are ERIE Employees who live in your area.”
Claims myth #2: Once I file my claim, I don’t need to do anything else.
It’s important to cooperate with your claims adjuster to ensure that your claim is processed quickly and accurately. This could mean preserving evidence, providing receipts or locating medical records if you were injured.
If you report your claim to an Erie Insurance Agent, expect a call from an ERIE claims adjuster. “Sometimes we need follow-up information in order to process your claim,” says Christine Tipton, an inside claims supervisor at ERIE. “If you don’t call us back, it only delays the process.”
Claims myth #3: It will take forever to settle my claim.
While processing times depend on the circumstances surrounding your claim, most claims have speedy resolutions. This is especially true if your claim is not a large loss. So, for instance, an auto claim involving a fender bender will generally be processed faster than a claim involving three cars and an uninsured driver. The same goes for home insurance claims: If there’s extensive fire damage, that claim will likely take longer than if a tree limb damaged your fence.
Claims myth #4: I’ll get dropped if I file a claim.
This just doesn’t fly the vast majority of the time at ERIE. “Less than one percent of ERIE policies are cancelled after a claim is filed,” says Dave Freeman, vice president, Personal Lines Underwriting, at ERIE.
However, there are factors that can lead to cancellation. They include being involved in multiple at-fault auto accidents in a short period of time; receiving multiple speeding tickets or a drunk driving citation; and incurring home damage caused by negligence, like serving alcohol to minors at a house party.
How long you’ve been a Customer also matters. If it’s your first claim in 30 years, that’s less worrisome than filing a claim on day one of your policy. “We do not paint people with a broad brush,” says Freeman. “We look at every case based on its own merit.”
Claims myth #5: It’s okay if my contractor tries to handle my claim.
Be wary if a contractor knocks on your door, points out home damage and tells you that he’ll handle your claim. These kinds of contractors commonly appear after storms and are often bad news. Many of these “storm chasers” are not licensed in public adjusting, so they may not know what they’re doing. Others may try to scam you.
“Contractors aren’t familiar with your policy and how it covers your loss,” says Musselman. “It’s always best to contact ERIE first if your home is damaged.”
Claims myth #6: Since I’ve been paying premiums all these years, it’s okay to exaggerate my loss to get some extra money back.
Many people don’t realize that padding a claim can be considered a form of insurance fraud. Don’t inflate your claim to fatten your reimbursement—in most states, insurance fraud is a felony.