Claims are not pleasant, but they will happen and knowing what to do after a loss occurs can make the experience less stressful and decrease the chance of complications. Nobody wants to have a claim; but we are here to help when it happens to you. Hoffman Brown Company has built its reputation on serving our clients long after the sale has been completed. Our claims Team will work as your advocate and help you manage and expedite the claim process. We are ready to help when you need us the most.

Claims can be submitted either through our office or directly to your insurance company. We are here to help and will do everything we can to make certain your claim is handled in an efficient and professional manner.  We offer you a few fast and convenient ways to file a claim as you are in the driver’s seat:

  • Claims Management Philosophy

    Insurance coverage is perhaps the only commodity that we purchase and hope that we never need to use. However, when you report a claim, you need to have confidence in the ability of the individuals involved in resolving your issues. Facing a loss can be an overwhelming experience and we understand that when you purchase insurance, you are purchasing a promise that we will be available when you need us most. The Hoffman Brown Claims Team is here to assist. Our highly trained and experienced staff will work as your advocate as they help you control and expedite the claim process.

    Reporting a claim immediately is one of the most important aspects of claims management. Filing the claim accurately from the beginning will set the tone for how the process will progress.  A thorough, personal and in-depth review is the cornerstone of our claims management philosophy. Our Claims Team is available to review the situation prior to submitting a claim, as well as to provide feedback throughout the entire experience.

    Our goal is to function as a liaison between our clients and the insurance carrier adjustor.  This role begins with the “first notice of loss”.  This notice allows us to concentrate our focus on the best interests of our policyholders and help get any questions resolved as rapidly, and efficiently, as possible.  We work closely with all parties to a claim in order to facilitate a speedy resolution.

    The resolution of your claim is our priority and our team is here to help.

  • How to File a Claim

    Claims are not pleasant, but they will happen and knowing what to do after a loss occurs can make the experience less stressful and decrease the chance of complications. Nobody wants to have a claim, but when it happens to you, we are here to help. Hoffman Brown Company has built its reputation on serving our clients long after the sale has been completed. Our claims Team will work as your advocate and help you manage and expedite the claim process. We are ready to help when you need us the most.

    Claims can be submitted either through our office or directly to your insurance company. We are here to help and will do everything we can to make certain your claim is handled in an efficient and professional manner.  We offer you a few fast and convenient ways to file a claim as you are in the driver’s seat:

    1. You can call our offices during normal business hours Monday through Friday to speak directly to a member of the HBC Claims Team. We have information about your coverage and we can offer you valuable guidance throughout the process. Additionally, we will gladly take the “First Notice of Loss” and submit the information to the insurance carrier on your behalf.
    1. If you are reporting a claim after normal business hours and have immediate questions, you can reach one of our claims representatives by calling our general number at (818) 986-8200 and then pressing extension 1076 to be connected to one of our Claims Team representatives.
    1. If you need emergency assistance after normal business hours, you can call your insurance carrier directly to obtain help or file a claim through their 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, claims hotline.  To report a claim directly to them, please click on the link (“Report A Claim”) for a listing of your insurance company’s toll-free claim number. Generally we will be notified by the insurance carrier of your claim within 48 hours.
    1. Today many Insurance Carriers are allowing their policyholders to file a claim on-line. This is not yet true for all carriers as technology is just catching up with the insurance industry.

    By clicking on the carrier’s link, you will be taken directly to their web site and claims section. In order to expedite the online process, please have your policy information available as it will be needed for identification purposes. Generally we will be notified by the carrier of your claim within 48 hours.

    1. If you are unable to report the loss by phone or on-line, you can report the claim to us by fax. Please provide us with the following information that is required for us to begin the reporting process:  Your Name; Date of Loss; Brief Description of the Loss; Your Telephone Number, Your Email Address and the Policy Number, if it is available. One of our claim representatives will contact you the next business day.
  • Liability Claim – What should I Do After Being Notified?

    Nobody wants to be accused of injuring someone else. However, in our highly litigious society this situation can and does occur. If you ever find yourself in this position, we advise that you stop and take a deep breath, try not to take the allegations personally and call your agent or carrier in order to report the claim.

    Insurance policies include a contractual provision that says the insured must notify the insurance company as soon as they become aware that there is or could be a liability claim. A “claim” generally means a demand made against you (the insured) by another party seeking damages arising out of a wrongful act committed by you.  The insurance policy contains a “reporting clause” that specifies the time an insured has to file a claim. With a standard general liability insurance policy, it is recommended that a claim be reported as soon as you know of a potential loss. In addition, your policy requires that you cooperate with the insurance company in the investigation, settlement or defense of the claim or suit. Please note that unless all of the terms set out in the policy have been fully complied with, you might not be able to collect from the insurance company.

    The following will assist you in handling a Liability claim:

    When should I report a general liability claim?

    If you expect that someone will be seeking reimbursement from you for either Bodily Injury, Property Damage or Medical Payments, you should submit your claim to the insurance company, whether you believe you are responsible for these damages or not. This way, the carrier can promptly investigate the facts of the claim and be ready to determine how they will best assist you. If you have been served a Lawsuit, time is of the essence and generally a response to the Suit is due and must be filed within a specified period of time.

    What information do I need to report my claim?

    When you contact our office or the insurance company directly to report the claim, a claim representative will document the basic details of the issue. Shortly after reporting the claim, an adjustor will call you to discuss what will happen next and what your insurance policy covers. In addition, they will assign a claim number and begin the investigation into the circumstances of the allegations.  He or she will also answer any questions you have. Remember, the adjustor is there to be your guide throughout the claim process.

    The information needed will depend on the type of claim you are reporting. The typical data you will be asked to provide will include:

    • Your contact information
    • The name and contact information of any injured persons and witnesses
    • Your policy information (if available)
    • The type of loss you are reporting (auto, home, business etc.)
    • The description of the loss and the details of how, when and where the incident took place
    • A description of any injuries suffered in the accident
    • Copies of any Demands, Notices, Summons, Complaints, Legal Papers or Letters received in connection with the claim or Suit.
    • An authorization for the insurance company to obtain records and other information.

     

    How long will it take to settle my claim?

    Every loss is different, so the length of time needed to settle a claim varies. The time it takes to collect needed information and investigate the claim will determine the time needed to settle your claim.

    Some Examples of Common Claims Triggers Are:

    • A complaint filed in court seeking damages from you (In most states, a complaint will be accompanied by a summons. In other states, you may be served with a citation or a petition.)
    • A demand letter from a lawyer
    • A letter alleging potential damages or “putting you on notice” of a possible claim
    • Receipt of any kind of a document indicating you may be named in a lawsuit (for example, a summons, complaint, citation or petition
    • A request for your insurance coverage information
    • A threatening phone call from either an injured party or a lawyer
    • Notice of an investigation by a governmental organization

     

    Some Do’s and Don’ts to Consider:

    • Do deal with the situation as soon as possible – Do not ignore it.
    • Do not ignore any nasty letter, Subpoena or Governmental Complaint.
    • Do notify your insurance carrier, or agent promptly.
    • Do not admit liability.
    • Do not agree to pay any money to make the problem “go away” unless it is handled correctly.
    • Do try to collect as much information as possible.
    • Do not respond on your own without an attorney.
    • Do not discuss the Lawsuit with anyone other than your insurer and your attorney.
    • Do write down the day you were served.
    • Do your best to try and relax.

     

  • Property Claim - What Should I Do After a Loss?

    Your home is part of your family—it’s filled with memories and treasured keepsakes. We know how important it is to get it back to normal so you can get on with your life. Here are a few simple things you can do to help speed up that process after ensuring the safety of your family and guests and contacting emergency personnel as needed.

    • Report the claim to either Hoffman Brown or your Insurance Carrier directly.  The sooner you report the loss, the faster the claim can move forward. Your claim representative will work with you to identify the information needed during the claim process, but it is helpful if you can answer these questions:
    1. When the loss occurred (date, time)
    2. How the damage happened
    3. What was damaged
    4. If your loss involved theft or burglary, make sure you call the police to report the incident. This will help to expedite your claim later on.
    • Protect your property from further damage. For example, stop water from leaking by shutting off the valve, place buckets in rooms with water leaks, hang plastic over damaged areas to prevent water from leaking into your home or board up broken windows. Call a water restoration company to remediate the water; this will help prevent mold claims.  Click on our “Preferred Vendor List” tab for references.
    •  Take pictures or video of any damage to your house and its contents. Make a list of what is damaged and include details when possible—such as the brand name, age of the item, manufacturer, serial number and approximate price you paid. Organize your list by room. Use a home inventory checklist which can guide you through this process.  See our “Home Inventory” tab for a sample form.

    (See: http://www.erieinsurance.com/-/media/Files/HouseholdInventory.pdf)

    • Maintain a list of repair expenses. Keep track of the time spent cleaning up or making repairs after the claim. Also record any money you have spent on materials to temporarily fix the damage. It’s important that you don’t make any permanent repairs until your adjuster has seen the damage.

    Understanding the typical Claim Process

    After you have reported the claim, there are a few standard steps that you will encounter. Please note that each claim is unique and therefore the claim handling process may vary.

    • The “First Notice of Loss” is completed and it is submitted to the insurance carrier.
    • A claim number and an adjuster will be assigned to handle your claim.
    • The adjustor will contact you, usually within 24-48 business hours, to explain the claims process and the steps involved. They will discuss what your insurance policy covers, confirm the facts of the loss and answer any questions you have.
    • Depending on the severity of the claim, they may inspect the property and engage experts to assist in the determination of damage.
    • The adjuster will then ascertain the extent to which coverage applies and then estimate damages involved in order to settle the claim.
    • Some information that the adjustor may need to best evaluate your claim include:
        • Photos of your property prior to the damage
        • Household inventory receipts for any temporary living expenses
        • A list of the supplies that were needed to prevent further damage to your property
    • After the claim is initiated, the adjuster will make every effort to efficiently complete the process. Some claims can be settled quickly however others, especially those involving severe damages, may take longer.

    Keeping Track of the Details

    To help stay organized and involved, you may want to maintain a file regarding your insurance claim/loss that includes the following:

    • Your full name as it appears on the policy
    • Policy number
    • Claim number
    • Adjuster’s name, mailing address, email address, phone number and title. Estimates, correspondence and notes of phone conversations regarding the claim settlement.

    Keep this file with you so when you talk to your adjuster—at home or at work—your documentation will help ensure the claim is processed in a timely, accurate manner.

  • Automobile Claim - What Should I Do After an Accident?

    So you’ve had an accident, cracked the windshield, or worse. You’re probably a little uneasy about the claims process and how it works. Here are a few simple things you can do to help speed up that process:

    Understanding the typical Claim Process

    • Report the claim to either Hoffman Brown or your Insurance Carrier directly.  The sooner you report the loss, the faster the claim can move forward. Your claim representative will work with you to identify the information needed during the claim process, but it is helpful if you can answer these questions:
    1. When the loss occurred: date, time, location
    2. How the damage happened and the details of the accident
    3. The make, model, color, registration and license plate number for all vehicles involved
    4. The location of your car following the accident and if a rental car is needed
    5. The extent of damage to all cars, people and property
    6. A list of all parties involved (drivers, passengers and witnesses) and their personal information (including insurance data, agency name, policy number, policy holders name and their relevant contact information)
    7. If the police were present, and a formal report of the incident was made, what is the report number and police contact information. This will help to expedite your claim later on.
    8. Record the damage done. Take pictures or video of all cars, the area in which the incident occurred and any extenuating circumstances that contributed to the situation.
    • After you have reported the claim, there are a few standard steps that you will encounter. Please note that each claim is unique and therefore the claim handling process may vary.
    • The “First Notice of Loss” is completed and it is submitted to the insurance carrier.
    • A simple auto insurance loss, such as having your vehicle towed or windshield damage, is generally straight forward. Communication with the claims adjustor is often handled by phone or by mail and can usually be settled quickly.
    • A complex auto insurance loss, involving other parties, injuries or more severe property damage, often includes both property and liability issues.  These claims include investigation of all parties involved and an analysis of multiple insurance policies.  Generally, statements from all drivers and witnesses will be requested.
    • The Carrier will assign a claim number and a claims adjuster to handle your claim.
    • The adjustor will contact you, usually within 24-48 business hours, to explain the claims process and the steps involved. They will discuss what your insurance policy covers, confirm the facts of the loss and answer any questions you have.
    • The adjuster will then ascertain the extent to which coverage applies and then estimate damages involved in order to settle the claim.
    • After the claim is initiated, the adjuster will make every effort to efficiently complete the process. Some claims can be settled quickly however others, especially those involving severe damages, may take longer.

    Keeping Track of the Details

    To help stay organized and involved, you may want to maintain a file regarding your insurance claim/loss that includes the following:

    • Your full name as it appears on the policy
    • Policy number
    • Claim number
    • Adjuster’s name, mailing address, email address, phone number and title. Estimates, correspondence and notes of phone conversations regarding the claim settlement.

    Keep this file with you. Whenever you talk to your adjuster—at home or at work—your documentation will help ensure the claim is processed in a timely, accurate manner.

    For future reference, you may want to put a copy of our “What to Do in an Auto Accident” guide into your glove compartment.

    (see: http://www.erieinsurance.com/-/media/Files/Autoaccidentwhattodo.pdf)

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The information contained on this page is provided for informational and educational purposes only. The descriptions of coverages listed on this website are brief and subject to the provisions, limitations, and exclusions that can only be expressed in your policy and related endorsements. Additionally, this site contains only general information on insurance issues and may not reflect the most current developments in insurance coverage and is unlikely to apply in all factual scenarios. The information does not include all the terms, coverages, exclusions, limitations or conditions that may be contained in the actual insurance contract language. The policies themselves must be read for those details.

COVID-19 Update:

The Coronavirus, officially COVID-19, has become a global health emergency. One of the measures Hoffman Brown Company has taken to keep our CLIENTS and Teammates safe was to design a complete virtual work environment. For the foreseeable future, our colleagues will be conducting business virtually to avoid any disruption in our ability to serve you. These measures are based on the CDC’s guidance and will evolve with the situation. Please know that we are fully functional, available and look forward to being of service.