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A lesson from The Godfather: Report that claim right away

March 25, 2015
Mark Greco

Mark Greco

“Thank you for the dinner and a very pleasant evening. If your car could take me to the airport; Mr. Corleone is a man who insists on hearing bad news immediately.” —Tom Hagen, consigliere to Godfather Don Corleone

Putting aside the murders, corruption, strong arming, and illegal and unethical behavior of all stripes, Marlin Brando’s Godfather was a pretty good guy to have on your side.

In real life, a good non-mob godparent takes a strong interest in a child’s life, a protector who supplements and augments the traditional parental role. Like a good godparent, a good insurance company is there to protect you as well, but can’t help if you don’t report what’s going on, and promptly.

You need to file insurance claims fast, regardless of who’s at fault, otherwise, you could jeopardize your coverage, create future risk, and cause more problems.

The Don would not approve of such delay, but if that’s not enough to convince you, here are the top five reasons why you should promptly report a claim.

Guarantee you’re actually covered — It would be very bad, indeed, to actually find yourself unexpectedly not covered in an accident, but that can happen if you don’t report claims promptly. Your policy defines specified conditions and requirements for coverage, and one of them is usually your duty to report a loss just as soon as practical after the loss occurs. Do. Not. Wait.

Get relief faster — The sooner you report the claim, the quicker your carrier can investigate, determine liability and damages, and begin paying on the claim. Prompt reporting means an easier investigative process, which speeds up everything that follows — like getting a check!

Improve the chance of getting your deductible back — Let’s say you’re in a car accident that’s not your fault. Your insurance company will pay your claim and then go after the at-fault driver’s insurance company for the damages. This is known as subrogation. The best part about it from your standpoint is if your carrier is successful in the subrogation process, they will be able to collect not only what they paid you, but be able to reimburse you for any deductible you had to pay. Again, the faster you report the claim, the more likely this will happen.

Prevent additional damage — If there’s fire or water damage to your property, prompt reporting means your carrier can swiftly dispatch specialists who work around the clock and can immediately begin remediation work, preventing further damage. This ultimately lowers claim costs and helps keep premiums low.

To better defend you — If someone is injured in a claim that involves you, your carrier can negotiate a settlement early in the process, which often means better outcomes for you. Late reporting could allow key evidence to be lost or destroyed, leading to a not-so-positive outcome for all parties involved.

Remember, your insurance policy is merely a promise until you have a claim. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. The Don would no doubt approve.

Mark Greco

Contractors Specialist

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