Proof of loss form
When you file a claim with your insurance company, you may receive a proof of loss form. In this form, your insurance company will ask you details like what the loss is, the details of it, how much you are asking the insurance company to pay, etc. This document is a critical component of your claim and will define the path of your claim as well as the final result.
If it is requested that you submit this documentation, you should see it as your insurance company asking you how much they owe you. As insurance companies are in the business to make money, you should assume that the number you give them (alongside detailed proof and documentation of how you got to that number) is the most you will receive. It is unfortunately not as simple as asking them for what they owe you and getting a check in the mail – this is another piece of documentation that your insurance company will use to assess how much money they’re willing to pay.
Why a proof of loss form is important
When you receive this form to be filled out, it should be left completely empty. In the case where the amount is already filled out, this should be a red flag. If you have not provided any information regarding repairs needed or already completed and your insurance company has already come to you with the number they expect to pay, you need to make a clear note of this. This proof of loss form does not provide you with an opportunity to explain your claim and collect an appropriate settlement.
It is important to realize that signing this document is stating under oath that you agree to this amount (unless you provide extra documentation claiming otherwise), which therefore solidifies the amount your insurance company has come to, whether it is adequate or not.
When a proof of loss form is dishonest
Therefore, in this case, you need to attach an official document stating the amount is insufficient and provide detailed information of repairs that have either been completed or need to be completed. If you do not have that information yet and are waiting on a professional examination, you can also state that additional damages may be recoverable once the repairs are commenced. If, for example, you have a sinkhole claim, the amount on a proof can be variable and may need counsel’s assistance to complete.