What am I required to do when I have an insurance claim?
Get Legal Help Today
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
UPDATED: Feb 11, 2010
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.
Every insurance policy specifies certain duties that an insured must perform after a loss has occurred. The exact duties vary among different policies and will be different for property damage claims than for liability claims. These duties are usually included in the section of the insurance policy entitled “Conditions,” since failure by the insured to perform one or more of these duties could relieve the insurance company of its obligation to pay the claim — i.e., the insured’s duties are a contractual “condition” of the insurance company’s obligation to perform its duties under the policy.
Policies usually require an insured to give “prompt notice” of any loss, including basic information about what property was damaged or the time and place of an accident or injury. If there has been property damage, the insured will be obligated to take reasonable steps to protect the property from further damage. If there is a theft loss, policies often require that the police must be notified. In the event of a liability claim, you must promptly send the insurance company copies of any notices or other legal papers you receive. For a claim under a life insurance policy, you may be required to provide a copy of the death certificate for the insured person. Almost all property and liability policies contain a general requirement that the insured must cooperate with the insurance company in the investigation, settlement or defense of the claim.