When you think of insurance, you might instantly think of your home insurance or your auto insurance. However, when groups such as the Wisconsin Towns Association deals with insurance, they handle types of coverages and claims that many wouldn’t think of. Coverages for city parks, festivals, and city employees are just some of the factors that can come into play when insuring towns and handling claims.
Dealing with an insurance claim can sound daunting and unsettling no matter your situation. If you don’t work in the insurance field, it may even feel like a foreign language you have to yet to learn. Here are some of the best practices to keep in mind if you ever file a claim.
Claims Best Practices:
- When In Doubt, Reach Out:
- If you need to file a claim or have had a claim filed against you, you should always contact your insurance agent to see what support they can provide you with. Even if you think they can’t help your case, you may be surprised! We have seen many situations where clients reach out to the insurance company for assistance when it’s too late and often, they could have received help earlier when they thought it wasn’t possible.
- Get an official answer from the insurance company before you make any decisions on your claim. It never hurts to review your policy on a regular basis, so you understand your coverage. However, make sure you have an expert look everything over before you make final choices.
- Be Prepared:
- Gather as much information as possible as quickly as possible. Having all your supporting documents, photographs, reports, etc., together right away will help speed up the process of filing or fighting a claim.Answer the Five W’s- Who is involved, What happened, When did the incident happen, Where did it happen, and Why?
- Putting all your information and contacts together at the beginning of your claims process will help avoid unnecessary delays later.
- Be Patient:
- Even if you are prepared, the claim process can take longer than you think. Depending on the type of claim, you may be waiting for injuries to heal, estimates to arrive, and repairs to be completed. Having a claims case end up litigation may seem overwhelming, but this can ensure a full investigation takes place and all the facts are fully developed.
- While the case may not be moving forward at the speed you like, keep the communication lines between you, your insurance agent, attorney(s), and claims specialists open to avoid further delays.
What Claims Could a Town Face?
The claims process can vary for each type of insurance coverage. When dealing with claims, towns within the Wisconsin Towns Association will most likely deal with different claims than a regular homeowner, renter, or business owner.
- Governmental Entity Claims:
- These may include liability claims involving public officials, municipal employees, or accidents occurring on public property within the town.
- Liability of public officials such as police officers, city workers, etc.
- Injuries during public events or on public property such as a park, at a city festival, or damage allegedly caused by a municipal project (regrading a street causing water to run onto the property of an adjacent landowner, etc.)
- Claims Involving the Workplace:
- Employment Claim
- Claims involving the hiring and firing of employees, including allegations of harassment, discrimination, etc.
- If you are involved in a Workers’ Compensation or Employment Claim, the best thing you could do is contact your insurance agent immediately.He/she can work with you to determine whether insurance coverage is available, including possible coverage for legal expenses.
At Rural Mutual, we understand that filing a claim can be stressful and inconvenient no matter what the situation is. You can count on us to support you throughout the process and work around the clock to find a solution. If you have any questions or need to submit a claim, reach out to your local Rural Mutual agent today.