Just as there are many types of insurance, there are many types of insurance claims. Some insurance claims must be filed with your own insurance company while others are filed with someone else's insurer. Additionally, you can file a claim for property damage, physical injuries, the death of a loved one, health care benefits, and if someone sues you for premises liability, to name a few. Read on to learn more about different types of insurance claims.
Accidents and Injuries: Filing a Claim with Your Own Insurance Company
Claims for accidents and injuries are among the most common types of insurance claims out there. And within this category, auto and home insurance claims are the most popular. Filing a claim for benefits under your own insurance policy is known as a first-party claim, and these must usually be filed very soon after the accident occurs.
Car Insurance Claims
If you’re involved in a car accident, you’ll probably need to file a claim with your insurance company, whether the accident resulted in property damage, physical injuries, or both. Even if the other driver was at fault, you should file a claim with your insurance company in case the other driver’s insurance company refuses to pay, or if the other driver was uninsured or flees the scene. Types of insurance claims under an auto policy can include property damage, physical injuries, uninsured motorist coverage, collision coverage, and liability.
Homeowners Insurance Claims
Under a homeowners insurance policy, you would file a claim with your insurance company if your property sustains damage that’s covered by your policy, such as wind damage during a storm, or a pipe bursting in your kitchen. You must also notify your insurance company if someone else is injured while on your property. If you’re sued by that person, your insurance company has a duty to defend you under the liability portion of your policy, as long as the claim is potentially covered by your policy.
Renters Insurance Claims
Claims under a renters insurance policy function similarly to homeowner’s insurance claims, except that you would usually only file a claim if your personal property is damaged or if someone sues you for injuries they sustain while on your property.
Accidents and Injuries: Filing a Claim with Someone Else’s Insurance Company
You may also find that you need to file a claim with someone else’s insurance company. This type of insurance claim is called a third-party claim and is more common among car and home insurance policies.
Third Party Car Insurance Claims
If, as the driver of the car, you were involved in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you may need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company if the other driver fails to do so. You would also file this type of third-party claim if you were injured as a passenger of one of the vehicles, or as a bystander.
Third Party Home Insurance Claims
Like auto insurance claims, you would also need to file a third-party claim if you’re injured while visiting someone else’s home. Homeowners and renters policies generally cover injuries sustained by visitors if the homeowner or renter was negligent in maintaining the property or warning the visitor of a dangerous condition.
Other Types of Insurance Claims
Although the process is similar among many different types of insurance claims, there are some important differences to keep in mind.
Unlike other types of insurance claims, you don't file a life insurance claim as an insured, but rather after the death of the insured. To file a life insurance claim, you'll need to submit certified copies of the insured's death certificate along with appropriate claims forms. States often have specific timelines for when a life insurance claim must be paid out (for example, within 30-60 days).
Health and Dental Insurance
For most types of insurance, you have to submit your own claim in order to receive benefits. But with health and dental insurance, your provider will usually submit a claim directly to the insurance company. The provider then bills you for anything not paid for by your insurer. If you do have to submit your own claim, contact the insurance company for the required forms and submit those along with an itemized bill from your provider.
Most flood insurance policies are provided by the National Flood Insurance Program. However, since this insurance is purchased through private insurance companies, you would file a claim with your private insurance company, along with a Proof of Loss form.
Of course, there are many other types of insurance claims, including those for earthquakes, title issues, boating accidents, pet injuries and illnesses, and crop issues. Check with your policy or the insurer for steps required to file an insurance claim correctly.
Know Your Rights During the Insurance Claims Process
Regardless of the type of insurance claim you submit, insurance companies have an obligation to act in good faith and process your claim in a timely manner. If you're having difficulty getting your insurance company to abide by the terms of your policy or state insurance laws, contact a local insurance attorney who can defend your rights during the claims process.