Your first instinct after suffering property damage may be to clean up the mess as quickly as possible to get back to your regular life; however, this might not be the best thing to do until you have gathered proof of your losses. Insurance companies do not trust policyholders to estimate the value of their own damages, which means that shortly after you report your losses, you will be required to prove them to your insurance agent. This process begins with the Proof of Loss request.
Your insurance company may mail you an official Proof of Loss (POL) request after you notify them of property damage. You must enclose a formal statement of the property damage claim with the POL, which must include your notarized signature. This document facilitates the investigation that takes place after you file a property damage claim.
What is Proof of Loss?
A Proof of Loss provides your insurance company with specific information about your formal damage claim. Your policy will dictate what you must disclose through the POL; usually, it requires:
- The sum of the losses claimed
- The documents that support the sum of the losses claimed
- The parties claiming the loss under the policy
- The date and cause of the loss
- Those who have an interest in the claim
Most of the time, this is the first document the insurer receives that includes specific details about your claim. It is in your interests and that of the insurance company to comply with POL requirements to efficiently process your claim.
FAQs about Proof of Loss
Should I worry that my insurer will deny my property damage claim?
- So long as you follow all directions to file an accurate claim, this should not be a concern. If you receive a POL request, it means that your insurer seeks additional information to support your claim. You should do everything you can to prove the value of your claim, even if it means working with a public claims adjuster to determine the value of the property you lost.
What information does my insurer need from me?
- The POL you will be expected to fill out will be tailored to your specific case. If the request asks direct questions, you will need to provide all of the information that you have that can answer them. You should discuss any information you do not feel comfortable disclosing to your insurer with a property insurance lawyer.
What if I provide the wrong information?
- A POL is essentially a sworn statement. You are legally required to include valid and accurate information in the POL, to the best of your knowledge. Intentionally lying or misrepresenting the damages could get you into serious legal trouble, as you may face criminal charges for insurance fraud.
What if I do not respond to the POL request?
- You may not only give your insurance company a perfectly valid reason to deny your claim, but you may also forfeit your right to sue them for refusing to issue you a settlement. It’s crucial to respond to the POL request promptly.
Attorney William Terry is available to help you fulfill your Proof of Loss in a way that satisfies the insurance company’s demands while protecting your interests as a property owner in Vero Beach. When you require a fair settlement to repair your property, let Mr. Terry put his experience of over 25 years litigating homeowners insurance claims to work for you. Call (772) 217-6600 or email Bill Terry for a free consultation.