Damage from a house fire (Photo: @maginnis via Twenty20)

6 Common Mistakes That Could Invalidate Your Insurance Claim

Are you overpaying for car, home, or renters insurance? Compare to find out in 45 seconds.
Quotes from up to 45 companies · No long forms · No phone calls
Damage from a house fire (Photo: @maginnis via Twenty20)
A proof of loss form is a document that insurance companies require when you have a claim for property damages. The form itself can seem intimidating, but it is vital to ensuring you receive the reimbursement due to you. Here are some helpful tips to keep you from committing common mistakes filling out a proof loss form.

1. Missing information and documents

Reading through forms can be boring and tedious, but in this case, you want to pay attention. Your insurance policy will include an extensive list of details and documents you should include with your proof of loss form. Information required includes, but is not limited to:
  • Date of occurrence
  • Detailed description of loss
  • Monetary amount of loss
  • List of all parties, including self and other stakeholders, claiming loss
  • Contact information for all parties
  • Copy of insurance policy and policy number
  • Inspections and estimates of loss
  • Claim number, if assigned
  • Appraisals
  • Proof of repairs
  • Photos and receipts
  • Bank statements
  • Serial numbers
  • Any documentation supporting proof of loss

2. Leaving blanks

Make sure to proofread your proof of loss form before submitting. You need to ensure all the information is filled out, leaving no blank answers or spaces. If something is unclear, contact your insurance company or adjuster to ask for assistance. Your claim can be delayed or denied if information is missing.

3. Missing deadlines

Most insurance companies require you to make your claim and submit your proof of loss form within a specific time period after the date of occurrence. If you miss this deadline, your claim can be denied. If you’re having a hard time gathering all the information required, ask for an extension. Get confirmation of the extension in writing so there is no question on the matter later.

4. Missing signature and notarization

Believe it or not, people commonly forget to sign their proof of loss form. Even more common, they forget to get the form notarized. Your claim will be rejected if your signature is not notarized. A significant portion of the information needed is based on your sworn statement of the occurrence.

5. Neglecting to follow-up

You’ve submitted your proof of loss form and now you are waiting to hear back from your insurance company. It’s been a few weeks, but you assume everything is on track. Do not make the mistake of not following up. Often an insurance company will require additional documentation. If they can show proof that they requested the information via email or mail, even though you did not receive it, this could negatively affect your claim. Keep in touch so you are not kept out of the loop.

6. Not knowing your rights

Insurance regulations and laws differ from state to state. If an insurance company is trying to reduce your benefits or deny a claim, check your local laws to see if there is anything to prevent them from doing so. For example, if you missed a deadline, your state might require by law that the insurance company give you a reasonable extension. Also, there are several states that have laws requiring a claim be settled within a certain time period.