Filing an insurance claim can be a complicated and confusing process. Our goal at Chalmers is to make it as easy and straightforward as possible.
We offer complimentary, in-house claims services with highly specialized Claims Managers. They are licensed adjusters and agents, and will support your journey toward a fair and prompt resolution.
In addition, the guide below explains the key elements of the insurance claim process so you know what to expect.
For any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Office hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. You can call 800-360-3000 and ask for Claims, or email email@example.com. If you have access to the InsurLink client portal, you can also submit claims there.
What To Expect
If you have a claim to file, you may have lots of questions: “What information do I need to report my claim? Should I even report my claim? Am I covered for this claim?”
We get it. We’ve been there and can put our experience to work for you.
Step 1: Stop Further Damage
If you’re in the middle of a catastrophe, first make sure you, your family, and your pets are safe. Then do whatever you can to stop any further damage. This may entail removing water, securing broken windows, etc. You may need to call in a professional service, such as a plumber or a water mitigation specialist, to assist in certain circumstances.
If you need emergency services such as police, fire, or medical attention, please contact the relevant authorities immediately.
Step 2: Start to Document Everything
We encourage you to take pictures and videos of as much of the damage as you can, including from different angles. Be sure to save all receipts/invoices/pictures/videos of initial damage so you can submit them later as part of the claim.
Step 3: Call Chalmers
After you’ve suffered a loss, regardless of whether or not you think it’s covered under your policy, you should communicate the details to us as soon as possible. While you may not ultimately decide to file a claim, it’s extremely important to consult with your insurance agent.
Not only can we help you understand the finer details of your policy and how it may respond to the loss, but there may also be strict rules regarding the amount of time you have to file the claim.
Each claim is different, but most follow these basic steps after an accident or loss:
Frequently Asked Claims Questions
A claim is a formal request for payment within the bounds of an insurance policy. For example, if you experience a home fire, you would file a claim requesting that your insurance carrier investigate and issue payment for damages and loss.
A deductible is the amount you will pay out-of-pocket for a covered loss. After a deductible is applied, your insurance will pay for the remaining repair/replacement expenses. For example, with a $1,000 loss and a $500 deductible, the insurance would send $500 and you would be responsible for the other $500.
The deductible is applied per claim, meaning each claim will have its own deductible regardless of how many or few have been filed in the past.
An adjuster is the person of contact who is assigned after your claim has been filed. This person is assigned from the insurance carrier, not Chalmers. The adjuster will examine the claim details, review policy coverages, and assess the amount of compensation that should be made.
A coverage limit is the highest amount that can be paid in the event of a covered loss. Your policy limits are selected and/or calculated when building your policy.
You should report your claim as soon as possible, even if you don't have all the necessary information. The faster you do so, the sooner we can start assisting you. You will have the opportunity to update information once the claim has been established. Here is what we typically look for:
- Photos of the damage, if applicable
- Your contact information
- The name and contact information of any other involved parties
- Policy information, if available
- The type of loss you are reporting (auto, home, etc.)
- The date the incident occurred
- A description of what happened
- A description of any injuries
- Reporting the claim to your carrier or to Chalmers.
- Answering the initial call from your adjuster usually within the first 24-48 hours after reporting your claim.
- Coordinating a damage inspection, if required.
- Selecting contractors, vendors, and/or auto body shops that will be needed to make repairs. If you do not have an existing relationship with the appropriate professional, you can ask the adjuster if there are any approved vendors from which to choose.
- Proof of Loss - It will be up to you to provide a complete list of the damaged items being claimed. The information required by the carrier includes details such as the make, model or brand, where and when it was purchased, and its estimated value in order to determine how much the carrier will pay.
- Mortgagee/Lienholder- Be sure your home or auto policy has the correct lender information listed or that it has been removed if there is no longer a loan. If you have a lender, the claim check will be made payable to both you and the lender. If this is the case, you should call your lender to confirm their requirements for insurance claim check processing.
Most carriers issue paper checks, however, some carriers have started offering direct deposit or paperless options. In property damage or auto claims, payments may be made directly to you or to the servicing vendor. If you have a mortgage or car loan, it will be made payable to both you and the lender.
Yes, you can get an estimate before filing a claim. For example, if you have a broken window pane and you are not sure whether the repair will be more than your deductible, getting an estimate before filing a claim can be useful.
If the repair cost is expected to be higher than the deductible you can call Chalmers to discuss the next steps or report your claim directly to your insurance carrier.
No, this is not recommended and could jeopardize your coverage. It is okay to take action that stops further damage from occurring and it is okay to get estimates prior to submitting a claim, but the carrier must be allowed to inspect and/or assess damages prior to any repair. Otherwise, they can deny your claim.
Depending on the level of damage, the number of individuals that are involved, and the availability of parts or materials needed for repair can all create unforeseeable delays. If there are unexplained delays happening with your claim, don’t hesitate to contact one of our in-house Claims Managers who are happy to assist. They can identify where things stand, clarify any confusion and facilitate communication. They will do everything they can to move things along as quickly as possible.
Some common reasons why claims are denied include: the damage is not significant enough to exceed the deductible amount; the loss or damage was not caused by a sudden event, but rather a long-term, maintenance-related issue; or the policy has specific exclusions for the type of event that occurred. For more information, please reach out to our Claims Managers.
Contact any Chalmers office and ask to speak with one of our in-house Claims Managers. They are experts trained to help you in this specific area.
You have every right to submit a claim and receive a formal coverage decision and/or payment for covered losses. However, there are some situations where you may not want to file a claim. Insurance policies are not designed to be “all inclusive” for every loss that could possibly occur. In some circumstances the damage may not have been caused by a covered event or the cost of repairs may not exceed the policy deductible. Policy holders should also be aware of the potential ramifications filing multiple claims can have, such as increased premium, loss of claim free discounts, and in certain circumstances even policy cancellation. If you are unsure whether filing a claim is the right choice for you, please call your agent to review how it may apply to your specific situation.
We are so glad you asked. We have an article in our resource center that answers this question in depth.