Insurance Policyholders In The Dark About Proof Of Loss - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/20/05

Insurance Policyholders In The Dark About Proof Of Loss

If you don't not have a copy of your insurance policy, attorney Earl Denham says you need to get one from your agent. Each insurer has different requirements regarding what's called a proof of loss. That's a statement you sign listing everything you lost and its value.

"Some of the insurance policies, these that we're looking at currently for people, the proof of loss has to be filed within 60 days after the insurance company requests it. But in two of the bigger insurers down here on the Coast, Allstate and State Farm, it clearly says you have to give them a signed proof of loss within 60 days of the date of the loss. That would be August 29. So if I count 60 days right, that's the 28th of October. And I don't know of any person that has come in here with this type of insurance that has been informed by their agent or their adjuster that they have to have a signed proof of loss filed before the 28th of October or they're just gonna be wiped out and lose their claim," Denham says.

Denham says many agents don't even know about the policy provision.

"We randomly called around. People are being told we don't know what that is so a proof of loss claim is extremely important and people need to understand that or they're going to lose everything they have."

But what happens if you haven't seen an adjuster yet?

"That will be no excuse under the current law if you don't file a proof of loss form. And if your insurance adjuster comes out and says, 'I've got all this, you don't have to file a proof of loss form,' that will not work either under these policies. It has to be notarized with your signature."

Denham stresses time is running out for people who lost everything and they need to check their policy carefully. He also recommends not accepting an insurance check unless the proof of loss shows everything you lost because you won't be able to change it later.

byMarcia Hill

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