Insurance and Finance

How to Navigate the Insurance Claim Process

By Kelsey J. Vanderschoot 5.20.19

It happened: You lived one of those worst-case scenarios that has been floating around in the back of your mind. Maybe a storm dropped a tree straight through your barn roof, you forgot to check your rearview mirrors and crashed into the driver next to you, someone broke into your home, or you woke to find your kitchen aflame.

We hope you never experience a claimable event, but if you do, it’s good to know how to navigate the road that lies ahead. Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent Mark Clark helps lay out the steps for filing a claim and what policyholders can expect from their Agent during that time. See his outline of the insurance claim process below:

1. Talk to Your Agent

A quick call to your Agent can give you some initial guidance and reassurance. They will not lead you through what to say to describe the claimable event, but they are there to help you through the logistics of the process.

“I’m there to make sure that they understand how to file the claim — if they need that — to explain to them what the next steps are going to be, what to expect as far as who is going to be calling them, time frame … things like that,” says Clark.

2. File the Claim by Phone or Online

Once you have discussed your situation with your Agent and understand the steps that lie ahead, you can file your claim by phone at 1.800.224.7936 or online. In either case, you will need to provide a brief description of the event and your policy number.

3. Your Agent Will Receive Emails About Your Claim

Your Agent will receive one email describing the claim you filed and another email assigning an adjuster to your claim. They may reach out to you to check in, especially if someone could have been injured during the claimable event.

“I always want to call them and make an inquiry, make sure that nobody was hurt, see what extent the damage is,” says Clark. “We can get the severity of it and begin to guide them as to what the next steps are in the claim process and what to expect.”

4. Your Claims Adjuster Takes Statements

Because you’ll have a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance adjuster — and not a separate third party — you’ll know your claim will be dealt with caringly and efficiently.

Your claims adjuster will usually call to get your statement within 48 hours of you filing your claim. In an auto accident involving multiple parties, your adjuster will call each person to take their statement, verify the personal information of all parties involved, and ensure that all versions of the story align. Home and property claims often require the adjuster to visit the property, assess the damage, and take photos and measurements.

This doesn’t mean you need to leave that tree protruding through your roof until they arrive. “Secure the property as well as you can, take any reasonable steps that you need to to remove a tree, remove debris, cover up a hole in the house, cover up a window that is knocked out — just go ahead and cover it up, that’s fine,” says Clark. “We’re going to know what happened. It’s going to be obvious.”

5. Your Adjuster Works Through Expenses

Once they have all the information, your adjuster will negotiate with the parties involved in covering your expenses. This can include auto body shops or the insurance companies of other drivers involved in an auto accident. “The adjusters work with the body shops to make sure that everybody is following the procedures and check into estimates to make sure they are in line with what we think the repairs should be on the car,” Clark says.

6. You Receive Payment or Your Payment Is Processed

Then you wait. The waiting period following a claim can vary widely. Some are settled within a few days and others may take a month or two. Your Agent can serve as an intermediary between you and your adjuster should there be any delays in receiving payment.

“Texas Farm Bureau Insurance is quite a bit different than other insurance companies in my opinion,” Clark says. “Our claims adjusters are easy for us to talk to, so we can find out from that adjuster who is on that case and what is going on there.” Common causes of delay include missing information from third-party sources, complications at the auto body shop conducting a vehicle repair, or unforeseen damage that a contractor discovers after removing the outer structural layers of a home. 

Talk to your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent to learn more about the insurance-claim process and how they can guide you through the aftermath of a claimable event.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2019 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance