Proof of loss is a formal, official, certified, and sworn statement of the claim an individual makes and submits it to the insurance company about the degree of property damage that occurred.
The insurance company then investigates the claim and allows the individual to protect its interests.
Who Fills Out the Proof of Loss Document?
In the event your property has suffered from damage, you will fill out a proof of loss statement. The document will help you substantiate the value of the loss that you experienced to the insurance company. In most cases, a proof of loss statement is a one-page document, which summarizes the important information required under your insurance policy.
The information includes:
- Supporting evidence
- Estimate of the current value of loss
You will need to provide evidence of loss to the insurance company along with any supporting documents to back up your claim. The insurance company will use the information you provide to determine the amount of money they need to give you to repair your property. Next, they will review your claim and inform you of their stance on the claim.
For this reason, it is important that you accurately and correctly fill out the proof of loss statement and get reimbursed by your insurance company. If you make errors such as filling out the form incorrectly or lying on the form, it will cause them to delay providing you coverage or result in underpayment. A worst-case scenario is that they may reject your claim.
The Importance of Filing the Form on Time
If you plan to fill out a proof of loss statement, read your insurance policy to check the date or days you need to file it by after property damage has occurred. If you do not follow the time constraint put in place, your insurance company may reject your claim.
In addition to filling out the proof of document on time, you may also need to obtain, fill out, and submit it to the insurance company, as your provider may not automatically deliver one to you. Most insurance companies may require you to submit your claim by sending you a request to fill out and submit. Also know that most insurance companies require to first submit the estimates and inventories, agree on an amount you can claim, and then have you sign the proof of loss document.
6 Steps to Fill Out a Proof of Loss Document
You will need to attach a copy of your insurance policy to the proof of loss document. The insurance policy determines what you need to place in a proof of loss document.
For your knowledge, here is some of the information you need to fill out:
- The date and cause of the loss
- Coverage amounts at the time the loss occurred
- Documents that support the value of your property and the amount of loss you claim such as estimates, inventories, receipts, etc.
- Policy number
- Parties that have an interest in the property
- Parties that claim the loss under the insurance policy
An example of when you might need to file a proof of loss statement with your insurance company is when a car plows through the door of your house, causing serious damage. You need to report the incident to your insurance company and file the claim within the given timeframe.
Once you have submitted the proof of loss statement, your insurance company will begin to investigate your claim. Keeping this same incident in mind, you will need to ask the driver of the car to provide you with their information.
You will also need to take pictures of the incident and make a list of the damage that occurred on the property and mention their declared values as well. Be prompt and honest with your proof of loss statement.
Even though you might not know the exact value of the some of the items that the car damaged, you still need to be as accurate as you can be about their value. If you give exaggerated estimates or provide them with incomplete evidence of loss, the insurance company will see it as an attempt to defraud them and can lead them to reject your claim.
3 Tips to Help You Out
If you need to file a proof of loss document, keep the following tips in mind:
Know Your Duties and Responsibilities
You need to file your proof of loss document by a certain date. If you miss the date, the insurance company may deny your claim. Usually, the time to file a claim is 60 days either after or from the date of loss. Check with your insurance policy to determine when you need to file a proof of loss statement. If you are unable to understand your insurance policy or you require an extension to file it, you need to discuss it with your insurance company.
Obtain a Second Opinion
You should consider obtaining a second opinion on the true value of your claim. Your insurance company may send either an independent claims adjuster or a contractor to determine the value of your claim. To be on the safe side, you should obtain the services of a third professional not affiliated with your insurance company. Remember, to obtain detailed estimates on the property loss.
You need double check your proof of loss statement before you submit it. You can also have another person check it a third time on your behalf to ensure you have filled it out correctly. You need to check the policy number, claim number, date of loss, policy term, and other items on the proof of claim to see if you have filled it out correctly and with the correct information.
Questions? We’re here to help!
We hope you found this article helpful. Our team of agents is always here to answer any questions you may have regarding your claims process. If you need to speak with an agent, please feel free to use the chat feature in the bottom right-hand corner or contact us at 203-481-8898.
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