Learn when to file an Insurance Claim
Here are some things to consider before filing an Insurance Claim
- When and why should I file a claim?
- Should I file a police report?
- Hail and Wind Damage
- How much is my deductible?
Before submitting a claim to your insurance company for your home or auto, you as the insured should think before immediately reaching for the phone. One should first assess the damage to make sure that the damage is going to materially exceed your deductible. This may take a trip to your local body shop for an estimate, or getting a professional repair person out to the house for an analysis of the damage. Generally, the time spent in your research may save you hundreds in increased insurance costs. If the following two conditions are present then there is no claim basis for the repair of your property; the damage to your auto is less than your collision deductible, and this is a single vehicle accident with no public property damage. However, if there was another vehicle involved with damage or bodily injury, then you should always file a claim. You want your version of the events on record, and your insurance company needs to know promptly about this accident.
In Texas most cities now follow this procedure. If your car is drivable and there are no injuries, the police will not respond to the accident to complete a report. The police dispatcher that you are talking with will advise you to move your vehicles to a safe place and exchange insurance information. When exchanging the information ask to see physical proof of insurance and driver’s license. Do not trust unverified information, as it will probably be bogus. Have the other person call your cell number and leave you a message, so that you will have a verifiable phone number. Additionally, write down the license plate number of the other vehicle to be able to verify the registered owner if needed.
If your car is not drivable or you are not sure of its driving condition, tell the police that you are not sure of its drivability and it may need to be towed. Remember, since the police officer is not an eye witness to the accident, the report is just a summary of information gained by the officer and is not considered a valid determination of who is at fault. The officer may indicate on the report that in his opinion there were factors by one or more drivers that contributed to the accident. There is one major importance of a filed police report; in the presence of a police officer generally each party will be truthful about what happened in the accident, and the incident will now be recorded. When there is no report filed, often the story changes and becomes convoluted. Then insurance adjusters with varying sides to the accidents will generally trust the word of their insured, and may deny your claim based on fictitious or lack of provable information. You should always collect the name of independent and unbiased eye witnesses that can verify the account of the claim. Technology now equips almost every one of us with a powerful tool, the cellular phone with movie and sound recording capability. Immediately after an accident has occurred, check to make sure that no one is injured. Then, before any vehicle is moved from the scene try to video record the location of all vehicles. Interview the other driver on video especially when that driver is admitting that they are at fault.
The violent spring storms of Texas can bring about unusual damage to your beautiful home. When damage occurs take all necessary precautions to protect your home against additional damage. Boarding up broken windows, putting up tarpaulins over missing shingle areas, drying up saturated carpet may be necessary in a catastrophic event. Keep your receipts for supplies and/or contractor labor as your expenditures are reimbursable. Remember to use your cell phone or camera, and take pictures of the damage to the building and contents.
If you think that you have hail damage, before you call in a claim, call a local roofer who will be more than happy to come inspect the property at no expense to the homeowner. Many times the contractor will perform temporary patch jobs at little or no expense, providing that his company is in the running for the new roofing job. When choosing a roofing contractor, rely on your agent for recommendations. Too many homeowners have been hoodwinked by shoddy workmanship and find out later that their roofing contractor was nowhere to be found. Qualified roofers will be insured for general liability, workers comp, and vehicle liability. You should always ask for a certificate of insurance. If a roofer isn’t insured, that is clearly an indication of his company’s character.
My favorite coined phrase is: “It’s never a problem until it’s a problem”. Fifteen years ago, it was uncommon to find a policy that had a higher deductible than $250.00 for all damages covered on a home insurance policy. Today in Texas, almost all companies now require that the deductible on wind, hail and wind driven rain be no less than 1% of the dwelling coverage amount. The average dwelling coverage at our agency is well in excess of $275,000. This would make the deductible $2,750. Most homeowners know that they have a large deductible. Although, they don’t realize the deductible has risen to the extent that it has due to the increase in dwelling value over the last few years. Minor wind or hail storms may not cause damage to your roof that exceeds the deductible. Therefore, have a contractor check the extent of your damage before filing an unnecessary claim
Our agent McKenzie is so friendly and works very hard to find us the best coverage for our home and cars.
Been dealing with Mckenzie at this firm for years now and she has consistently gone above and beyond….
My husband Greg and I have carried our auto/home ins. policies for years through your agency. I have always appreciated the great customer service the ladies in the office have provided. However; I would like to share that Maggie is no exception and honestly her customer service skills are stellar! She always responds quickly and efficiently. She solves any issue within minutes and never seems to be too busy to assist with any requests. She is delightful on the phone and over email. I felt strongly it was important to share what an excellent employee you have in Maggie! She’s a “keeper”.
I recently signed up with your agency on a new vehicle and renter’s policy. I moved from Oklahoma to Texas and was referred by my sister and her husband to your agency. I just wanted to let you know that I have been working with Maggie Pena and am very pleased with the service I have received. Maggie is very knowledgeable and professional, she has a quick turnaround time to answer all of my questions. Thank you for providing excellent service for me and just to let you know you have an outstanding staff member: Maggie Pena.
McKenzie, I want to thank you for all the help you have provided to both Jonathan and me over the past couple of years. You are a true professional and provide excellent customer service. Mike Leonard should be proud to have you on his team!
Hello Mr. Leonard,
I have been with your agency for two years now and I must honestly say what a pleasure it has
been working with Maggie Pena. She has responded to my questions and concerns with rapid
speed and has an exemplary attitude. Working with Maggie has made purchasing insurance
much more palatable whether it has been auto or homeowners insurance. Too many times
we are quick to make complaints against an employee for poor quality service and ignore
great service allowing it to go unappreciated and unrecognized. I encourage you to pay special recognition
to Maggie Pena by placing a letter of accommodation into her personnel file and pay tribute to
Maggie in front of her peers. I believe she is a valuable asset and face for your agency to
potential and existing customers. Thank you for your recognition of Maggie Pena, a valuable employee for your agency.
Mckenzie Motley and Mike Leonard Insurance Agency not only saved me $2,050 a year, but McKenzie did this in less than a week. I didn’t have to lift a finger. Mckenzie handled all things needed to activate my new policies and terminate my old policies. She ensured I was covered at all times and dealt directly with my lender and prior insurance company. The company even allows for DocuSign so that, even in your busy life, you can make time to electronically sign all documents. This process could not have been easier and I would recommend Mike Leonard Insurance Agency to anyone looking for new coverage or the option to save money!
We have been clients of Mike Leonard Insurance Agency for five years now, and we have been working with McKenzie Motley all that time. McKenzie has helped us purchase car insurance, renter’s insurance and now home insurance, and she always does such a great job for us. She gathers all the quotes and works hard to ensure that all the policies have what we want and need and are all equivalent. It’s great for me as all I have to do is talk to McKenzie and then she does all the hard work. I don’t have to call each company and explain the same thing over and over again. Also, I have checked them against other independent agents, and McKenzie always gets me the best coverage for the best price, too. I feel so blessed to have them on our side helping us insure the important things in our life.
Lindsey is great – solves problems, answers tough questions, and has amazing follow up – the reason I will always be with your agency.
I have been a long time customer of Mike Leonard. I have auto home and investment properties. Lindsey Hobbs has been my primary contact for several years. She has helped me on several occasions. Most recently she re looked at my complete insurance portfolio and saved me over 3000.00 dollars. 400.00-to 500.00 per house and also on my auto. Its been a great relationship. THANK YOU
I would like to express my sincerest thanks to one of your employees. McKenzie Motley has been a real pleasure to work with on my insurance needs. Her attitude is one of professionalism and I sense from her a real genuine care. She has been the most responsive Insurance Agents I have dealt with in over 30 years. Because of her actions, I intend to be a customer for a very long time. She is truly an asset within your organization.
Again, thank you Mckenzie.
I appreciate you helping me with my insurance. You did an excellent job helping me find me cheaper insurance. I really appreciate it!!
I just received a call from Lindsey Hobbs telling me she was shopping my homeowners insurance and found a lower rate. It will save me almost $350 a year. I have never ever had an insurance agent call to tell me my insurance rate was decreasing. Mike Leonard Insurance offers great customer service and much added value
I was shopping insurance and chose your agency not only because the price was competitive but McKenzie sold the deal. She was very helpful, answering what must have seemed like unending questions. Her follow up with telephone calls and emails gave me confidence that I was important and a valued client. She is a true asset to your agency. Thank you Mckenzie.
I was an insurance customer for about 4 years when they raised my premium by almost $50 per month!! McKenzie at Mike Leonard Insurance Agency worked very hard to find me a MUCH better deal for the same great coverage that I had previously. Now I am saving $300 every 6 months! Thank you so much!!
I was a longtime customer of the Farmer’s Insurance Group. Over the years, my home and auto premiums continued to increase to the point that it became unbearable. The Mike Leonard Insurance Agency compared my rates with a number of different companies and found me a great deal with The Hartford. As a result, I saved $800 dollars in premiums, increased my coverage, and received more convenient payment options.
Just wanted to let you know that Lindsey provided me with excellent follow up and customer service.
I am very happy with the deliverable and her attention to detail. Her speedy, efficient, and meticulous work made the difference whether or not I would stay or go as a customer. I am now convinced that you have a great team and I must admit, Lindsey sets the bar really high when it comes to positive results.
McKenzie recently handled the placing of my insurances. In addition to being friendly I found her most knowledgeable and efficient. She took special care to follow up on all her promises which is so refreshing. I have been in the insurance industry for many years and recognize McKenzie’s customer care as exceptional.
McKenzie was incredibly efficient and friendly. She put together a package that saved us several hundreds of dollars between our car and home insurance. We were under tight time constraints as we were leaving the country and our old policy was expiring. Yet, she was able to pull the transition off without a hitch. I will be looking to her to help us with some of our rental property inurances within the next few weeks
I have used Mike Leonard’s agency for years. Not only do they provide excellent service but they are pro-active in keeping my rates low. This policy year, when they noticed my premium took a big jump, they looked for another provider on their own and offered me the new policy. I did not have to receive the bill, notice the increase in premium, then call them to complain. This has happened more than once and I always appreciate what they do for me. They also insure my home.