What To Do If You Have A Loss
- When you incur a loss, you should contact your agent or company representative
immediately. The sooner you file your claim, the sooner you can expect
to receive payment. You should telephone first, but if you do not get
an immediate response, write a letter.
- Homeowners policies issued in Idaho generally require you to do the
following when a loss occurs:
- Give written notice as soon as possible.
- In case of theft, also notify the police.
- Promptly send the company any legal papers received relating to
a claim or suit.
- Cooperate and assist the insurance company in any matter relating
to a claim or suit.
- Protect the property from further damage. Make any emergency repairs
needed to protect the property from further damage.
- Make a list of all damaged or destroyed property.
- Remember that your insurance policy sets time limits for claim-filing
activity. If you do not complete your claim forms promptly, protect your
property from further damage or otherwise cooperate with your insurance
company, your claim may not be settled to your satisfaction.
- Idaho Insurance Code contains 14 specific activities which may be considered
unfair acts or practices by a company when settling an insurance claim:
- Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions
relating to coverages at issue;
- Failing to acknowledge and act reasonably promptly upon communications
with respect to claims arising under insurance policies;
- Failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt
investigation of claims arising under insurance policies;
- Refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation
based upon all available information;
- Failing to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable
time after proof of loss statements have been completed;
- Not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair and equitable
settlements of claims in which liability has become reasonably clear;
- Compelling insureds to institute litigation to recover amounts
due under an insurance policy by offering substantially less than
the amounts ultimately recovered in actions brought by such insureds;
- Attempting to settle a claim for less than the amount to which
a reasonable man would have believed he was entitled by reference
to written or printed advertising material accompanying or made part
of an application;
- Attempting to settle claims on the basis of an application which
was altered without notice to, or knowledge or consent of the insured;
- Making claims payments to insureds or beneficiaries not accompanied
by a statement setting forth the coverage under which the payments
are being made;
- Making known to insureds or claimants a policy of appealing from
arbitration awards in favor of insureds or claimants for the purpose
of compelling them to accept settlements or compromises less than
the amount awarded in arbitration;
- Delaying the investigation or payment of claims by requiring an
insured, claimant, or the physician of either to submit a preliminary
claim report and then requiring the subsequent submission of formal
proof of loss forms, both of which submissions contain substantially
the same information;
- Failing to promptly settle claims, where liability has become reasonably
clear, under one portion of the insurance policy coverage in order
to influence settlements under other portions of the insurance policy
- Failing to promptly provide a reasonable explanation of the basis
in the insurance policy in relation to the facts or applicable law
for denial of a claim or for the offer of a compromise settlement.