Claims

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At Owens Group, we have a dedicated claims team to assist you in reporting and handling your insurance claims.

Not surprisingly, some claims are more complicated than others. Often, after filing an initial report, our clients and the insurance company’s adjusters will resolve the claim with little further assistance from Owens Group. In other cases, both our claims staff and our management team will get involved to assure that a satisfactory resolution is made in a timely manner.

Property claims often occur outside of normal business hours, and even those carriers with 24-hour claims service are not always able to answer every question to satisfaction. Here is some simple advice to follow in such situations.

The best thing to do is to react using the “Prudent Person Standard.” The insurance company will expect you to minimize further damage to your property, and to separate damaged property from undamaged property. Emergency and temporary repairs to accomplish this should be freely undertaken. You should save the damaged property and/or photograph it, so the adjustor can verify the extent of the damage.

Your policy coverage will not be affected by reporting the claim on the next business day.

For both business and personal claims, the process is as follows:

  • Report your loss to Owens Group. We will report your claim directly to your carrier. (If you choose, you may also report it directly to your carrier.)
  • You will be contacted by an insurance company adjustor, with whom you will deal directly.
  • It is important that you submit as much documentation as possible to the insurance adjustor to substantiate your claim. If you have any questions about the relevance of certain information, we invite you to consult with us.
  • Owens Group is here to assist you. We monitor claims regularly and are available to provide guidance in dealing with insurance company personnel, and to advocate on your behalf.
  • Once you and the insurance adjustor have agreed on the extent of the damage, and the replacement compensation — you will be asked to sign a “Proof of Loss” form. Generally, your claim will be paid within 2 weeks (or less) from the date that the insurance company receives your signed Proof of Loss.

FAQs

How do I report a claim?

You may contact Owens Group ( 800-26-COVER or claims@owensgroup.com ) and we will report the claim to your insurance carrier. If it is after hours or a weekend you can report the claim directly to your insurance company. Carrier Claims Contacts are listed in the right hand column of this page. Your policy should also contain a contact phone number or e-mail to report claims.

What steps do I take if I get in an auto accident?

Stay at the scene, in a safe place, to exchange information with other driver, such as:

  • license plate number
  • driver’s license number
  • make / model / color of vehicles
  • phone number
  • e-mail address
  • home address
  • insurance company
  • policy number

Contact the police regardless of fault, or dial 911 if needed

If possible, take pictures of the damages to all vehicles involved

Notify Owens Group (or the insurance company) of the accident

Will my claim be covered?

Only the insurance company’s representatives can make claims determinations. However, Owens Group will analyze your policy based on the details of the claim to help give you a better sense of what to expect.

How long will my claim take?

The timeline for each claim is different, based on the unique facts of the loss. The best way to help move the process along is to provide any documentation that the adjuster requests in a timely matter so that they can process the claim as quickly as possible.

Will my premium increase if I file a claim?

This depends in part on the rating methodology of your policy, the internal procedures of the insurer, how many claims you’ve filed in the past, and how much is ultimately paid out on the new claim.

If a friend of mine borrows my car and gets in an accident, who’s insurance will cover it?

Auto Insurance follows the vehicle, not the person, so in this case it would be your insurance — since it is this policy that specifically covers the vehicle that was damaged.

A tree in my yard fell onto my neighbor’s property and damaged their home. Who’s responsible for the repairs and cleanup?

Unless negligence on your part is demonstrated, it would be the neighbor’s responsibility since that is where the tree landed. Whoever owns the property where a fallen tree lands is responsible for any damages and/or cleanup, and the concept is that you should not be held responsible for your neighbor’s bad luck, even if your tree was involved.

What’s a deductible?

It’s the portion of a covered loss that, according to your policy, you’ve agreed to pay while the insurer agrees to pay the balance. For example, if you have a covered loss of $20,000 and your policy carries a $5000 deductible, your policy will provide a payment for $15,000. As a general rule, as your deductible increases, your policy premium decreases, and likewise, as your deductible amount decreases, your policy premium increases.

The other driver was at fault. Who’s insurance company pays for my damages?

In these situations you have the option of pursuing the claim through the other driver’s insurance company or your own. If you go through the other driver’s insurance company, they will first need to verify that the other person was at fault before authorizing any repairs and making payments. This can sometimes take time, especially if they have difficulty reaching the other driver to confirm details and/or if there is no clear evidence that it is the other person’s fault. If you submit a claim through your own insurance company, the process of getting your car repaired will usually be quicker. However, it should be noted that if you report the claim to your own insurance company, it can have an adverse impact on your renewal, especially if subrogation against the other party is still ongoing.

If the other driver’s insurance company is paying for the damages to my vehicle, do I need to bring it to a shop of their choice?

 No, you have the right to bring your vehicle to whatever shop / dealership you feel most comfortable.

My car was in an accident and I need a rental. Will my insurance company pay for a rental if I secure one before discussing the claim with them?

This depends on your policy. First, you want to make sure that your policy provides coverage for a rental car. Second, there may be some language in the policy that states that the insurance company will not provide payment for a rental vehicle until your car is actually being repaired (unless the vehicle is undriveable). In a case such as this, where an operational vehicle is sitting at the shop as they wait for parts to come, the insurer would not be obligated to provide payment for the rental car since you would technically still be able to drive the vehicle until the parts come in. In such situations, we suggest checking with us or with your adjuster before renting a car.

What if the estimate I get from a preferred vendor is more expensive than the one my insurance company provides?

Your insurance company adjuster will discuss the similarities and differences between the two estimates with your vendor and they will come to an agreement on the costs.

What if my body shop finds additional damages while repairing my vehicle from what was agreed to with the insurance company?

Your repair shop will discuss the findings with the insurance adjuster and any necessary supplemental payments will be made.

If personal items of mine are stolen out of my car, which policy do I report it under?

This will need to be reported under your personal homeowner’s / renter’s insurance. In general, your auto policy will not provide coverage for personal items that are not permanently installed in your vehicle.

I have personal items that were lost or stolen. What kind of proof will I have to provide to my insurance company for them to cover the claim?

To prove that you owned property that you are claiming as stolen or lost, you may provide purchase receipts, owner’s manuals or product packaging, appraisals, or photographs of the items in your home. 

My home/business was damaged by a flood and I don’t have flood insurance. Is there anything I can do?

Before you assume that you have suffered “flood damage,” check with us or your carrier. Many people characterize pipe bursts, failed sump pumps or similar water-related losses as “flood.” Flood has a specific meaning for insurance purposes.

Unfortunately, if you do suffer a flood loss and you don’t have appropriate coverage, your regular home or business owner’s policy will not provide coverage for the damages. However, in some cases, there may be federal assistance available through FEMA. They can be reached at 800-621-3362.