My insurer is trying to settle but I forgot to list a grandfather clock on the claim. Should I accept their final settlement?
UPDATED: Jun 6, 2013
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Asked June 6, 2013
Before you accept the final settlement check from your insurance company, make certain that everything has been accounted for. Go through your home inventory and check off damaged or stolen items to be certain that you have included them on your claim. Once you have accepted the final settlement check, reopening the case could prove to be a difficult task, and you will definitely have some explaining to do to the insurance company.
The reason that your do not receive a full homeowners insurance settlement to begin with is to allow you time to see to injuries and to make certain that everything the claim is for has been included. If you discover an item that has been overlooked, you can add it to the claim before you receive a final settlement. You will need to provide proof of ownership, but that is easily done as long as you have a current home inventory to refer to.
Once you have accepted the final settlement check, you can still reopen the case to add things that may have been missed, but doing so will entail a lot more paper trail, and your insurance company will want to know why. It is much better to delay getting that final check long enough to verify everything has been put on it that should be, and you will have less delay in the process. Remember though, excessively high claims will almost always be investigated to verify their validity, so make certain that what you are asking payment for was actually part of the claim.
Another thing to remember is that all of your claims for home and car insurance are being recorded in your CLUE report. CLUE is short for Comprehensive Liability Underwriters Exchange, and your report contains all liability claims you have filed over the past 7 years. Since this report is used by insurance companies to determine the risks of insuring you, it is important to keep the claims you file to a minimum. To do this, pay for small claims out of pocket, even if they add up to a little more than your deductible. It may seem like you are paying extra when you do it that way, but when you consider that your CLUE report will affect your insurance premiums for many years, the small extra cost now could turn into a large savings over time.
Answered June 6, 2013 by Anonymous