Insurance Claims in Virginia

What Are Insurance Claims?

Filing an insurance claim in Virginia can be a stressful process. Every policy is different, and insurance companies may not pay you what you deserve. In many cases, hiring an insurance claim lawyer is necessary. This page breaks down the nuances of different types of insurance claims.

What Is a Property Insurance Claim?

A homeowner’s insurance policy is an agreement to protect the home from damage under specific occurrences. When you as a policyholder suffer a loss, you should find a dedicated Virginia property insurance lawyer. Your legal advocate works on your claim to ensure that you receive the benefits necessary to repair or rebuild your Virginia property.

If the insurer denies coverage or delays, policyholders should consult a property insurance attorney about a bad faith claim. If your claim goes to court and you win, you can often recover your court costs, attorney fees, and coverage benefits. There is also the possibility of recovering more money depending on the state laws under which you file your claim.

What Types Of Damage Claims Apply to Property Insurance?

Specific geographic regions impact the design of insurance policies. For example, Florida property insurance policies have more provisions for hurricanes versus earthquakes. 

The threats to your Virginia property can change with the seasons. For example, WWBT News reports that the number 1 insurance claim in the winter is for burst pipes. In addition, ice damage to roofs and house fires are common winter claims. On the other hand, the SCC News warns Virginia residents to prepare for tornadoes, hail, flash floods, and lightning in the spring. Note that your standard homeowners policy will not cover flood damage. However, you can obtain flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

How to File a Property Insurance Claim in Virginia

After you suffer a loss, you must contact your insurer as soon as possible. Taking this step begins the insurance claim process and gets things moving along. You need to notify your insurance company in writing or over the phone. From there, your insurer appoints a claim representative.

What to Expect Afterwards

Every claim is different, so no one can predict how long your settlement will take. However, according to the Consumer Guide from the Virginia Bureau of Insurance, there are some timeline rules. For example, your insurer must acknowledge receipt of your claim within 10 working days. After that, they must contact you at least every 45 days regarding the status of their investigation.

If the insurance company accepts your claim, they will offer you a settlement amount. Ideally, this will be a fair amount under the terms of your policy. If not, you have the right to challenge their decision. Typically, the first step should be to contact the insurer directly. If the adjuster or agent made an error, it could be a quick fix. The company may also have an internal appeals process in place. However, if you cannot resolve the issue internally, you can file a complaint with Virginia’s State Corporation Commission.

What Is an Auto Insurance Claim?

Auto insurance claims involve requesting compensation from an auto insurer after an accident. Car accidents are incredibly stressful, especially if there are uncooperative responsible parties. However, your insurer’s job is to work on your behalf to secure compensation for repairs, injuries and other expenses.

What Do You Do After a Car Accident?

Virginia, like most states, requires a police report for certain car accidents. Under Virginia law, you must immediately call the police if the accident results in an injury or death. Nevertheless, it is generally a good idea to call the police for any accident, even a minor one. If the police respond to the scene and investigate, you do not need to file an additional accident report. However, if they do not, you may need to file a crash report with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

You will also need to notify your insurance company. Wallethub reports that Virginia follows the fault or tort method for handling insurance claims. This means the at-fault driver’s insurance should pay for your damages. If one driver is clearly at fault, this will be a fairly simple matter. However, if fault is in dispute, or if multiple drivers were at fault, it can delay the insurance process significantly.

Auto Claims Adjuster

Your auto insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to your claim report. Your adjuster acts as your representation in any mediation between you and all other involved parties. This insurance representative bears responsibility for investigating the claim and seeing that you receive compensation for any repairs or injuries.

Whether there are repair claims, personal injury claims, or you are dealing with someone who does not have insurance, your auto insurance adjuster should see you through the process. Your claims adjuster may recommend a garage to handle your vehicle repairs. They may also make arrangements for a rental vehicle if required. The most important thing to note is that your auto claim adjuster is your primary point of contact regarding the status of your claim in Virginia.

Health Insurance Claims

Virginia policyholders file health insurance claims when they seek reimbursement for medical services or treatments. When you obtain a medical service from a provider, your health insurance carrier should be notified directly. If there are any discrepancies in your claim, consider hiring a health insurance claim specialist attorney.

How Do You File a Health Claim in Virginia?

There are two ways to file a health insurance claim on your behalf. The first is the medical facility notifies your insurer for you. You may be able to walk out of the facility without spending anything, but that depends on your policy. The other way is to file a health insurance claim yourself. Taking this route can occur when a health provider you use is not in your provider network. The facility may still file the claim on your behalf, but you may need to file it yourself.

Many people don’t realize that the cost of their care, or even their treatment options, may depend on which insurance company they use. For example, a recent Virginia Mercury article describes several tactics by both insurance companies and large healthcare conglomerates. One hospital system even went so far as to attempt to cancel its contract with the local Medicare/Medicaid provider. As the hospital was the only local medical facility, this would have had severe consequences on availability of care. Since most Virginia patients do not have access to their insurer’s internal contracts, it can be crucial to utilize an external review process if your insurer denies or underpays a claim.

Work with an Experienced Local Insurance Lawyer in Virginia

If your health insurance provider refuses to honor a claim, seek out a qualified Virginia insurance claim attorney’s help. An insurance claim attorney can help if you have been improperly denied coverage or sent a bill for a service you never received. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Virginia state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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