Why You Need to Be Meticulous in Your “Proof of Loss” Document
The insurance process is complex and confusing. Many insurance companies aim to settle claims as quickly as possible and pay as little as possible. To make sure you receive the compensation you deserve, you need to be careful about every step involved in filing a claim with your insurer. One of the most important steps is filling out and submitting a Proof of Loss document.
What Is a Proof of Loss Document?
A Proof of Loss document is one of the first things you need to create when filing a claim with your insurance company. It outlines the damage you suffered and amount you believe you deserve in compensation. It is usually short and succinct, summarizing the information that the insurer needs to determine liability and compensation for the incident.
Your Proof of Loss document will most likely play a significant role in the insurance company’s decision. It is an official legal document; if you are not meticulous with the document, it could affect your entire claim. The insurance company could delay your claim or refuse to compensate you for the full amount you deserve. A poorly filled out Proof of Loss document could even lead to the insurance company denying your claim.
To fill out a complete and satisfactory Proof of Loss form, you must include this information:
- Your insurance policy number
- All parties involved in the claim, including those not directly involved in the accident, such as your bank
- Insurance coverage you had at the time of the incident
- When and how the incident occurred
- Evidence of the value of the personal injury or property damage
What to Consider When Filling Out a Proof of Loss Document
If you haphazardly or carelessly fill out a Proof of Loss document, you could sabotage your entire insurance claim and potentially not be able to receive any compensation. Depending on the severity of the damage, a denied claim could take a serious toll on your finances. It is vital to be careful and intentional with every aspect of your form and keep a few things in mind when you are filling it out.
- Understand the requirements for the form. Though Proof of Loss documents are extremely similar in every state, be sure you are clear about Arizona’s rule and regulations about Proof of Loss forms. Understand the time limit on filing, which details are most important for the form, and any other requirements.
- Be honest. One of the most important aspects of a Proof of Loss document is honesty. Do not simply detail what you think will be the most persuasive to the insurance company. The insurance company will most likely investigate your claim before making any payment to you, and if it discovers that you lied on the form, it could ruin your claim.
- Consult another about the value of your claim. Make sure to get a second opinion about the monetary value of your losses from someone who is not connected to your insurance company, as the company representative may give you a skewed and biased report of your claim’s value. Insurance policies can be extremely complex and convoluted, so a second opinion will help make sure you are interpreting your losses and policy correctly.
- Be detailed. Proof of Loss forms have many places where you can make mistakes. Even a small, seemingly insignificant mistake could seriously impact your claim. Look over every piece of information that you provide before submitting your form. It also may be a good idea to have an expert review your form. Every detail should be in order, so your insurance company can get a thorough idea about the incident and your losses.