PROOF OF LOSS: The Most Important Document In The Claims Process

When filing a property insurance claim, your insurance provider will supply you with a Proof of Loss form. The insurance company’s adjuster may tell you that filling out a Proof of Loss form is “pretty straight forward” but in actuality, it’s often the most important document in the property claims process.

What is a Proof of Loss form?
A Proof of Loss is a formal declaration made by the insured regarding a claim so that the insurer may determine its liability under the policy. It is typically a one page document and serves as a summary of the critical information required under the policy; this includes the supporting evidence and estimates of the present value of loss to the insurer. In an insurance claims environment, it is up to the policyholder to present and prove their loss to the insurance company – this form and its supporting documents enables the insured to do just that.

Proof of Loss is a Sworn Statement
When filing your Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss, you have to keep in mind that it’s just that – a sworn statement. Any errors, inaccuracies and/or material misrepresentations of the facts are grounds for the insurance company to deny coverage. Particularly for large or total property losses, insurance companies look closely for errors and won’t hesitate to deny coverage if they discover any inaccurate information in your sworn statement.

Be Aware of Time Requirements
In the insurance policy, under the section titled, “Section 1 – Conditions (2) Duties After Loss” it will state how long the policyholder has to complete and submit a Proof of Loss after damage has occurred. If the insured does not abide by this time requirement, they risk denial of their claim. It’s important to note that the insurance company may not automatically send out a Proof of Loss form for submittal. In fact, it may be the policyholder’s responsibility to obtain, complete and proactively submit this document to the carrier.

Get Detailed Estimates of the Damage
An accurate, thorough and substantiated claim value used on your Proof of Loss is vital. This value will need to accurately itemize and detail the property damage and what you are owed as a result – do not guess! Make sure that you have your own professionals who are not affiliated with the insurance company to back up your numbers.

Need Help? Call A Professional
Dealing with a property loss can be tricky. Having a Public Adjuster to serve as your advocate and guide you through the process can make all the difference in the outcome. A Public Adjuster can not only help you prepare, estimate, negotiate, and settle your insurance claim but can also help you with details such as accurately filling out a Proof of Loss; giving you the peace of mind the first time around.

Have questions about your property insurance claim? Feel free to contact Stark Loss for more information about how a Public Adjuster can help.

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