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Getting Accurate Car Insurance Coverage Information

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 11/30/2017

Q: There is damage to my car, but before I file a claim I want to know if it’s going to be covered. Every time I ask my car insurance company if it’s going to be covered I keep getting told that I have to file a claim first. Why won’t anyone tell me if this is covered or not? Don’t they know their own policies?

A: Insurance is very complicated. Have you ever read your insurance contract before? If you have, did you understand what you were reading?

It’s not that the people you are talking to at the car insurance company don’t know their own coverages, it’s that there is too much to know to be able to give you a correct answer. A car insurance policy is a legal contract that takes a specialist to be able to understand the details of what is and what is not covered. A claims adjuster is a specialist in your insurance contract and are the only ones that can accurately tell you what is covered; which requires a claim to be filed. If another person tells you that something is covered and it is not, the insurance company is on the hook to pay for a claim that was not in the car insurance contact you paid them for.

Also, when you call a car insurance company you are usually speaking to someone that helps people across the nation. When I worked in an insurance contact center I handled 11 different types of policies in 47 different states, that’s 517 different insurance contracts! Also, during the course of a month, I would handle 1,500 to 2,000 calls. There is no way that I could have accurately told you if the damages to your car were covered or not.

Claims adjusters specialize in specific states and specific coverages. They also only have so many claims in their caseload, which gives them the time to accurately review car insurance contracts to accurately tell you if those damages can be paid for by your car insurance policy.

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Michele Wilmonen

Michele’s first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she’s earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

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