You know you need car insurance and homeowners insurance, but if you have to file a claim, saying the wrong thing could get your payment delayed, or your claim denied altogether. So, here are a few phrases you should never use with your insurance company, courtesy of Money magazine.
- “I think....” Don’t guess, because it could hurt your credibility. For example, if you say you were driving 30 miles an hour before an accident, but the police prove you were going 50, the insurance company may not believe anything you say about the accident. So, stick to the facts. If there’s a question you can’t answer, say, “I don’t know.” If they’re recording your statement, ask for a transcript so you can correct any misstatements.
- The second thing never to say to your insurance company: “I got whiplash.” Fraudulent claims cost auto insurance companies almost $7 billion a year, and since whiplash is a fraudster favorite, just mentioning the word will make your insurance company suspicious. Bottom line: If a doctor says you have it, you can say, “My doctor diagnosed whiplash.” Otherwise, stick with: “I feel neck pain.”
- The third thing not to say to your insurance company: “My basement is flooded.” With homeowners insurance, the word “flood” is a red flag, and means damage caused by weather, or an overflow from a nearby lake or river. Unless you have actual flood insurance, your policy won’t cover it. So, even if your basement is knee deep in water because of a burst pipe, don’t say “flood.” Say, “A water pipe is broken.”
- One final thing you should never tell your insurance company: “Just send me a check.” No matter what your claim is for, it’s considered insurance fraud if you don’t use the money to fix that specific damage. So, never say, “I don’t care about the roof leak. I just need the money.” That’ll trigger an investigation, and not only could your claim be denied, but your policy could also be canceled.