Importance of Documenting Your Losses in an Insurance Claim in Texas

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The process of documenting a loss against an insurance policy can be critical to obtaining the payment that you deserve. The Houston insurance claim attorneys at Haun Mena explain the importance of proper documentation for an insurance claim in Texas.

Why Is Documenting Your Losses in an Insurance Claim So Important?

Insurance documentation is necessary to receive the compensation you deserve promptly. It is important to know that you are claiming the right amount. The insurance company is less likely to deny or minimize your payment when you have thoroughly documented your losses.

Seven Reasons Why Insurance Documentation Matters

  • To obtain your payment: Insurance companies don’t like paying claims, as it cuts into their bottom line. Having accurate documentation shuts down the insurance company’s defenses and limits ways they might try to deny your claim.
  • To receive the right amount: The goal of an insurance claim is payment for a covered loss. The value of the claim depends on the terms of the insurance policy and the losses sustained. Accurate documentation helps you receive the right amount.
  • To help you conduct a thorough investigation: For an insurance claim to be fair to the consumer, it must be thorough. You don’t want to miss anything significant only to discover uncovered losses later. The process of attaining complete records, and estimates. and loss statements require you to look at the damage thoroughly.
  • To get paid quickly: Texas Insurance Code § 542.056 gives an insurer 15 business days to notify the claimant whether the claim is accepted or rejected. The 15-day period starts when the insurer receives all items, statements, and required forms. The insurance company needs this information to determine the final proof of loss. When you have a loss, you need your compensation quickly, and documenting your losses well helps you get paid faster.
  • To prevent a fraud investigation: A fraud investigation can be stressful and can make your claim take a lot longer. By having the verification you need, you don’t leave any questions about your claim or provide grounds for the insurance company to initiate a fraud investigation.
  • To make your repairs: Your insurance funds help you make repairs. With documentation in hand, you have quotes and work schedules that are realistic. This can help prevent surprises and keep your repairs on track.
  • To help you have peace of mind: The documentation process is your investigation too. You don’t want to wonder if you’re asking for too little. You paid your premiums, and you deserve to be treated fairly. The process of verifying your losses helps you know that you’re asking for what you deserve.

Essential Items To Document

You know that documenting your insurance losses matters. The next thing you need to know is what essential items to document.

Your documentation may include the following:-

  • Photos and video. You don’t need to be a professional photographer—just get clear photos with good lighting. Take photographs inside and outside, including in closets, behind doors, and in cabinets.
  • Serial numbers. Large appliances have serial numbers that will identify the manufacturer and model.
  • Lists. Keep a list or spreadsheet of the damage. Record the item damaged, description, and model. Write down when you bought it and what you paid. Note the condition of each item before the damage.
  • Receipts. You may have receipts from when you purchased big ticket items. As you replace items or if you have interim expenses, save your receipts and proof of purchase.
  • Building materials. If you need to remove carpeting, flooring, wallpaper, cabinets, furniture, and other items, keep samples of the material. Material types can make a difference when it comes to loss amounts.
  • Assessments. Appraisers can provide a neutral evaluation of the damage, prepare documentation, and outline the basis for their opinion.
  • Quotes. Professional quotes can explain the expected cost and process for repairs.
  • Proof of ownership. Proof of ownership verifies that you owned the item damaged. Examples may be bank statements, item registration, or photos.

Using Technology to Your Advantage

As you document your insurance losses, you can use technology to your advantage. Take photos and videos.

You can also submit claim information electronically, which can make the process easier.

Insurance companies use claim management software. Keep this in mind as you make decisions about how to proceed. Automation may play a significant role in their decision-making, and it may be necessary to appeal to have a decision reviewed. Keep records of interactions with the insurer, whether they are over the phone or by message.

The Role of Witness Statements and Third-Party Reports

An important part of documentation for an insurance claim is witness statements. Your testimony is important, and others can support your claim with testimony.

Witness statements may come from people who observed the loss. In addition, testimony may come from industry professionals who appraise damage and quote repairs.

Organizing and Storing Your Documentation

As you prepare your insurance documentation, organize and store it. When you have paper records, scan them and keep electronic copies. Electronic copies should be stored in at least two places, such as on your computer, in the cloud, or on a second computer. Keep records of what documents have been submitted to the insurance company and dates of submission.

If you submit handwritten information, write clearly. Use a pen, and proofread your work.

Legal Implications of Inadequate Documentation

Inadequate documentation can make your insurance claim more complicated. You may face:

  • Denial of a good claim
  • Low payment
  • Appeals
  • Going to court
  • Lengthy negotiations
  • Unnecessary legal process
  • Difficulty claiming bad faith
  • Allegations of fraud

Contact Our Houston Insurance Claims Lawyers Today

Documenting your losses in an insurance claim can help you get the outcome you deserve. At Haun Mena, our team can represent you from the beginning or at any stage in the case, providing support every step of the way.

Involving an attorney can help you get a fair payment early, minimizing your time and expenses. Get help preparing the information you need. Contact us today.

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