Ottawa Office

614 N. Perry, St. Rt. 65

P.O. Box 364

Ottawa, OH 45875

Bluffton Office

115 N. Main St.

Bluffton, OH 45817




Office Hours

Monday - Friday: 8:00a.m - 5:00p.m.

Evenings and Weekends:  By Appt.

Insurance Solutions | Ottawa, OH | Fortman Insurance Services 800-686-4500

1. Follow your insurance company's claims filing procedures to avoid costly mistakes. For example, insurance companies require claims to be filed within a specified time period, and not doing so could result in your claim being denied. Claims procedures usually are listed in your policy or on any proof of insurance, such as a financial responsibility card for auto insurance

Tips for Insurance Claims

Following a few simple tips can take the hassle out of filing an insurance claim.


You may have to put your insurance policy to use by filing a claim at some point. Although claims should be filed only when necessary to remain in good standing with your insurance company, you want to be prepared if the need arises. By following some basic tips, you can ensure that the claims process goes as smoothly as possible and that your rights under your insurance policy are exercised.

Follow Procedures

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419-523-4500 (Ottawa)

800-686-4500 (Ottawa)

419-358-4600 (Bluffton)

Gather as Much Information as Possible

2. Gather as much information as possible and report it to the insurance company when you file your claim. The more information you supply, the better the chance the company will decide your claim is valid. Supply photos of an accident scene or appraisals for the value of stolen property if they will support your case.

Tell the Truth

3. Be honest with claims adjusters or investigators about every detail in your claim. Insurance fraud is a serious crime and can result in substantial fines or even prison. It's better to have a claim reduced in value or denied than to face more serious consequences.

Get a Police Report

4. If your claim involves the presence of the police (after an auto accident, for example), ask the officer how to get a copy of her incident report, especially if you're not at fault. A police report can support your side of the story and be used to counter statements made by the other party. If you think you may be at fault, don't admit this to the police or the other party, because your statement of fault can be used against you.

Contact the Insurance Department

5. If you feel your insurance company has handled your claim unfairly, you can file a complaint with your state's Department of Insurance. In some cases, the insurance department may order a hearing to determine the validity of the insurer's actions.

1. Read your insurance coverage documents. While you may know the basics of your coverage, there are probably provisions in your policy that you have overlooked. Ideally, you should already be familiar with these provisions, which can include important claims requirements. But if you have not looked at them, review your policy or go online and read up on any information you may have missed.

Car Insurance Claim Tips

You should keep all documentation related to your accident when filing a claim.


Car insurance claims can be a hassle. If you recently had an accident, you may be more worried about your car, how bad the damage is, and what you can temporarily use for transportation than the details of filing a claim and dealing with a claims adjustor. Car owners should be aware of all that goes into filing a claim, having the vehicle evaluated and receiving compensation.

Review Your Coverage

2. Claims adjustors and insurance companies, in general, should give timelines for auto coverage requirements. You should know how much time you have to file a claim and submit bills and when you will be notified of the insurance company's decision. If you do not know these dates, then ask; it is the duty of the insurance company to let you know.

Focus on Deadlines

3. Keep any documentation related to your accident. Be prepared to send the insurance company photos, evidence of towing, repairs you may have had done, policy reports and any documentation pertaining to the accident. The insurance company wants this information, which may help you get positive results from your claim.

Keep All Documentation

4. The insurance company will compare your car's value with that of similar models, using various pricing strategies, to come up with an average cost. This decision is arbitrary and differs from company to company. To ensure that the insurance company's evaluation is accurate, visit a few websites, like Edmunds, and find an average price so you know how reasonable the evaluation is.

Research Your Car's Value

5. Insurance companies often work with car repair shops and recommend them to clients. However, this is just a recommendation; the insurance company may get a benefit from a shop if you use it, but that does not mean you will benefit. Choose the best shop for you, regardless of your insurance company's suggestion.

Choose Your Own Repair Shop

2. Your homeowners insurance company will want evidence that the damage occurred or that the item was stolen. Therefore, carefully document everything. Take detailed pictures of damage. If something is stolen, file a police report and keep copies of everything, as well as records of who you spoke to and when you filed the police report. Keep all this documentation since your insurer may want to see it all.

Claim Tips for Homeowners Insurance

1. Homeowners insurance provides you with coverage if your home or property is damaged and/or if items are stolen from your home. Filing a homeowners insurance claim can seem like a lot of paperwork and red tape, but there are certain key steps you can take to expedite the handling of your claim and make sure that you get the money you need to fix or replace your home or property. The Homeowner should always do what is necessary to prevent further damage and take pictures before anything is done.

Document Everything

3. If your insurer has evidence of how much your stolen camera cost, that can expedite the insurance claim process by making the valuation period take less time. It also provides proof that you did, in fact, purchase the stolen or damaged item in the first place, which will support your initial claim.

Provide Receipts if Possible

4. If damage occurred to your house, the insurance company may want to see it. This is especially true when there is a question of whether the damage was covered or not (i.e., if the insurer needs to determine if a flood caused the damage, which means it isn't covered, or if a falling tree from the storm caused the damage, which would be). This is also important if the extent of the damage is in dispute. While it may be difficult to live in a home that is in a state of disrepair, it is best to wait until you have written permission from the insurance company before you begin to clean up or restore anything.

Don't Repair Without Permission