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Making a Claim

If something happens to your home that is covered by your homeowners insurance, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company. You can call your insurance agent, broker or the insurance company’s claims office to make a report. You should call as quickly as is safely and reasonably possible.

Protect your property: Your insurance policy requires that you mitigate your damages. That means that you are required to take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage. In some cases, that will require you to contract with a qualified restorer to assist you in handling emergency services. It is your choice which restorer you want to hire.

Theft or vandalism: If you are the victim of a theft or your home has been vandalized, report it to the police as soon as possible. Make sure to ask for a copy of the police report. Often you will receive a criminal report number from the person taking your report—make sure to write this down.

Understand your policy: Hopefully, you have placed your policy in a secure place and are able to retrieve it. Make sure you read it over and understand it to the best of your ability. You will probably have questions. When your insurance carrier assigns an adjuster, he or she will contact you. You will want to ask questions about your coverage such as: Does my policy cover the property damage to my home?  What is my deductible? Does my claim exceed the deductible? Are there any limits of coverage that I should know about?

Document the damage: You should consider photographing or videotaping the damage. Do not throw anything away until the adjusters have had a chance to see the damage. If you must throw something away, make sure that you have photos to document the damage. If you have a home inventory, make a copy and provide it to the adjuster. Make copies of any receipts that show any out of pocket costs for which you want to be reimbursed. The insurance company will send you forms that you are required to fill out and return. One form is called a “Proof of Loss”. Complete the form as soon as possible.

Relocation costs:  If your home is severely damaged, and you need to live elsewhere while repairs are being made, keep records of all additional living expenses incurred.

The insurance company will send an adjuster to inspect the damage.