How to file a home insurance claim

You probably hope that your home will be safe, regardless of whether you live in your first home or have lived there for many years. Owning a home means that you have to accept the possibility of your home being damaged. In 2018, 5.7% of homeowners insured filed a claim.

Homeowners Insurance protects your financial assets in the event of a loss to your home. While you may hope to never need to file a claim for your home insurance, it is important to know how to do so. Knowing the steps required to file a claim can help you feel more confident when disaster strikes.

Insurance claims for homeowners

Your home’s contents and structure are covered up to a specified amount for covered perils when you purchase homeowners insurance. If a guest injures your property, you are also covered for legal and medical costs up to the policy limits. To get the restoration process underway, you must first file a claim if something goes wrong.

After you file a claim your case is assigned to an insurance adjuster. This adjuster will examine what happened and determine how much the insurance agency should pay. The claims process is broken down into several steps. You will be contacted by your adjuster, so it is crucial to keep in touch.

How to file a claim for home insurance

You may be able file a claim online or via a mobile app depending on which home insurance company you choose. You may need to contact your local agent or carrier for more complex claims or urgent matters. Nearly all insurance companies offer a 24 hour hotline for homeowners insurance claims.

Determine if the claim is financially feasible

Your loss can vary depending on the extent of damage. The deductible on your home insurance policy is the amount you will be responsible for when you file a claim. It may not be financially prudent to file a claim if your damage exceeds your deductible. Any damage that exceeds your deductible must be paid out-of-pocket. In addition, filing a claim could cause your insurance premiums increase.

Be sure to weigh all the pros and cons before you file. If your property or home is severely damaged, you should file a claim to avoid financial stress and devastation. This is why you should have insurance.

Collect evidence

Your case may be easier if you have documentation. Photographs or notes can be taken of the damage to your house. It might also be helpful to note the date and time of any damage. A police report may be useful if theft or vandalism were involved. A list of items that have been stolen or damaged may be helpful. Record the details of any injuries that occurred on your property.

Claim the property

You will need to give some basic information, regardless of whether you file a claim by phone, in person or online. Your policy number, address, time and date of incident and other details will be required. Your supporting documents and evidence may need to be faxed, emailed or uploaded to a claims department.

Repairs that are urgent and time-sensitive should be made

Temporary repairs should be made immediately if you suffer damage such as a damaged window or door, or a hole in the roof. You can keep receipts and invoices from repairs for later reimbursement.

Temporarily moving

You may need to look for alternative housing while your home is being repaired in the event of damage to your property, such as fire or flooding . Additional living expenses may be included in your insurance policy. This is to cover expenses such as substitute housing or other costs that result from being displaced. Ask your carrier for information or refer to your declarations page if you’re unsure about your policy limits.

Get to know your claims adjuster.

You should receive a call or email from a claims adjuster after you file a claim. They will take care of your claim. Your claims process will be more efficient if you keep in touch with your claims adjuster.

Keep in mind that adjusters can often handle multiple claims simultaneously. Adjusters might be dealing with a lot of claims if the loss was severe. It is a good idea to leave a message or send an email to keep in touch. Keeping organized is important, especially when multiple claims are being handled by adjusters.

Get the payment and make the repairs

You may receive one check, or several depending on how severe your claim is. Talk to your adjuster if you have any questions about your claim payout. Your adjuster will be able tell you how and why the payment will be made. You may need to submit a quote from a contractor, or an agreement for the repairs before payment can be released.

Questions frequently asked

What is the average time it takes to resolve a claim for home insurance?

The length of the claims process will depend on how fast you file the loss, the complexity of the investigation process and the length of the negotiations about the settlement amount. Simple claims can be settled in days. It is likely that claims involving severe damage or multiple coverage types will take longer.

If I file a claim, will my home insurance go up?

Your premium may rise after a claim depending on what type of claim it was and how much it cost. Your insurance company may consider filing a claim to indicate that you are more likely to file additional claims in the future. Your premium could be increased for several years to compensate for the higher risk.

Who do I pay my deductible to?

When you purchase a policy, your deductible is the amount you agree to pay for a loss. Your deductible will not be charged to you by the insurance company. Instead, the deductible amount will be deducted from your claim settlement. You will then be responsible to pay your deductible to the proper party. For example, if your roof is damaged or destroyed, you would be responsible for paying your deductible to the roofing contractor who performed the repairs.