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What insurance documents do you need in case of an emergency/claim?

One of our clients living in the Cincinnati area recently asked us what documents they would need in the event of an emergency or a claim.  This is a commonly asked question, so we thought it important to blog about on our website.  For all of our clients residing in Ohio, or any other state for that matter, there is just a couple things you will need in the event of an emergency or a claim scenario.  Two main things come to mind, regardless of the line of business your insuring (auto, home, life, business, etc.)…..

1. Proof of Insurance

Proof of insurance is always something you want to have accessible in the event of an emergency or a claim.  Say you’re struck by another driver while driving from Dayton, Ohio down to Cincinnati, Ohio for work, you will definitely need to have proof of insurance.  This will be requested in the case of an automobile accident,  not only by the other driver, but also by law enforcement if a police report is filed at the scene of an accident.  The most common proof of insurance is the auto ID card.  Auto ID cards can come in many variations (plastic wallet sized cards, pieces of paper, etc.) and need to be kept in the glove box of your automobiles at all times.  Insurance companies automatically send you an auto ID card when you buy insurance from them, but if you’ve lost it or don’t remember receiving one, it would be wise to contact your agent and request a new auto ID Card.  Another proof of insurance could just be your policy or dec page.  Most people keep a copy of their policy on hand at all times, even if it’s stuffed away in a folder somewhere.  For instance, a business owner in Columbus, Ohio should always keep their insurance policy at their business or home in case of an emergency or any other need to show proof of insurance.  If you’re living in Cleveland, Ohio and carry auto, home, and life insurance, it would be smart to keep copies of your home and life insurance policies somewhere safe in your house.  You should then keep the auto ID cards in your glove box as we mentioned before.  There is also a new way people are storing and keeping their policy information to show proof of insurance, and that is on their smart phones or tablets.  Here is a good example of why this can come in handy… Say you live and own a business in Toledo, Ohio.  You come home only to find that your house is ablaze with fire.  The copy of your policy is inside the home and you have no way of showing proof of insurance on the scene.  This scenario is a great example of why to keep your insurance information on your mobile device.  You could take a picture of your policy and store it on your device, or you could save it in an email.  Many insurance companies are now developing mobile apps to make this easier for the customer to access this information securely, from their mobile devices.

2. Agent/Company Contact Information

In the event of an emergency or an insurance claim, it is always helpful to have your company or agent’s contact information on hand.  This will make it much easier for you to get a hold of your agent quickly while at the scene of an accident, or help you file a claim quickly to your insurance company immediately following an accident.  For our clients living in Ohio, we usually recommend they call their agents for all questions and advice when at the scene of an accident or emergency.  Your agent is generally (or should be) easier to get a hold of than the company and this gives you an advantage when trying to decide how to handle a claim scenario.  We recommend all of our clients in Ohio to call the company directly when actually filing the insurance claim itself.  Many insurance companies ONLY take claims directly nowadays, and really do not want the agents filing insurance claims on behalf of their clients anymore.

These two bits of information are really the most important things to have access to in the event of a claim or an emergency situation.  We recommend you saving your insurance agent’s contact information in your phone as well as your insurance companies claims center number.  This, along with taking, and storing a picture of your policy, will ensure that you have all the necessary information in a time of need.  We’re happy to do this for all of our clients in Ohio and everywhere else.  Ohioans have always been an important part of our client base and we look forward to building many more great relationships throughout the state of  Ohio in the near future.

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