If you have suffered an insured loss, you must take several steps before you can expect to recover the benefits under your insurance contract.
Step 1- Notice of Loss: You must advise the insurer of the loss and the claim being advanced. Timely notification is essential because insurance policies typically include a clause which requires the insured to report the loss within a specific time frame. If you fail to report the loss within this time frame, your claim under your policy may be forfeited.
Step 2- Proof of Loss: The burden of proof rests on you, the insured, to prove the occurrence of an insured loss and the value of that loss. Insurance policies ordinarily include a clause titled "Proof of Loss Clause". The purpose of this clause is to enable the insurance company to determine the validity of your claim and the amount of its liability. Make sure your Proof of Loss is specific and completed soon after your Notice of Loss.
Step 3- Duty to Cooperate: It is important that you cooperate with your insurance company at all times. This includes the time periods for the Notice of Loss and Proof of Loss. Liability insurance policies typically impose a general duty on the insured to cooperate with the insurer. Failure to cooperate entitles the insurer to refuse to defend or indemnify the insured.
Stay tuned for our next blog, where we will discuss the obligations of the insurer when responding to a claim.
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