How to Get Insurance Companies to Pay Your Claims

When your company drags its feet, use these tactics to help you claim your cash.

Photo of a stethescope on top of an insurance form
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Filing an insurance claim is often directly preceded by a traumatic event in your life. So the last thing you need is a fight with your insurance company to force it to pay. But you can take steps at every point in the process -- and even before a traumatic event occurs -- to help make sure you get satisfaction.

Says Angelyn Treutel, an independent insurance agent in Bay St. Louis, Miss.: “People who do some planning are going to get through the claims process most easily.” She has plenty of experience with tricky claims: In 2005, Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge engulfed her town and left her house in 12 feet of water. It was about a year and a half before Treutel could move back into her home, and at the same time she was helping clients get their claims paid, too.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.