How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim


Maybe it’s a loud collision overhead. Maybe it’s glass breaking. Perhaps you can hear a constant drip of water coming from the ceiling of your kitchen. Any of these sounds could signify that you immediately need to understand how to file a home insurance claim.

You can’t just kick back and wait for your insurance company to pay up. You’ll have to report the issue promptly, maintain track of all expenses and interact with the insurer to make sure that you get paid in full for your homes insurance claim. The following seven suggestions will make the procedure simpler.


1. Submit your house insurance claim right away.

You might be able to file a claim for your home insurance online, through an app, through your agent, or by calling the business directly, depending on your insurer. Whichever of the technique you use, filing a claim as soon as possible can help you get paid more quickly.

Your insurer will assign a claim number and dispatch an adjuster to inspect the damage. Shortly after, the insurance company will provide an initial payment — minus your deductible — to cover the expected cost of repairs.

If your claim happened due of storm damage, it’s possible that other properties in the vicinity were also affected. This implies that there will be more claims and a higher strain on your insurer. Filing a claim immediately can assist bring you close to the front of the line.


2. Record the damage

You and your insurer will have a record of everything that needs to be fixed or replaced if you take pictures of the damaged things and make an inventory of them. Try to take images of labels and model numbers, especially for more expensive things, as the more details the insurer has, the better.

3. Execute interim fixes

If you have a hole in your roof, you don’t have to live with it until the adjuster arrives. If it’s safe to do so, you can perform interim repairs after documenting the damage for your insurer.

Stopgap repairs, such as repairing a leak or boards up a broken window, can avoid problems from getting worse while also saving time and money. If the insurer believes you could have fixed an immediate issue but don’t, you might not be completely covered. A TV can be stolen if you don’t board up a damaged window. It could not be covered by your insurance carrier.

You can submit the costs to your insurer as part of the claim as long as you preserve your receipts and can show why the repairs were necessary.

4. Be in touch with your adjuster

Your insurance company will assign an adjuster to handle the claim, and that individual will be your main point of contact throughout the procedure. You should explain the harm to them, address any concerns they may have, offer proof of costs, and keep them informed about the progress of repairs.

You’ll have to be your own best advocate. Keep in mind that the adjuster works for the insurance provider, not you.

“Be gently forceful” with the adjuster, urges Amy Bach, executive director of United Policyholders, a nonprofit and advocate for people with insurance. “Don’t come in ready to fight with boxing gloves.”

You also can engage a public insurance adjuster. A public adjuster handles the claim on behalf of the policyholder and negotiates with the insurer on your behalf. According to David Barrack, executive director of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, in exchange for their knowledge, you normally pay a public adjuster a percentage of the total claim amount. Although certain jurisdictions might have a lower cap, Barrack estimates the cost to be around 15%.

5. Keep your receipts

Before obtaining a settlement from your insurance provider, you might have to spend a lot of money on temporary repairs. Estimates won’t do if you receive a check from the insurer up front; you must keep all receipts. The initial payment often does not cover the whole cost of repairs. If you wish to get paid back in full, you’ll need to substantiate what you actually spent.

6. Think about your contractor

If your home is damaged, you don’t have to choose the insurance company’s suggested contractor to conduct the repairs. According to Bach, insurers frequently partner with businesses they bring in. However, if you have reservations about the pricing estimate, for instance, you might still look for a qualified, bonded, and insured contractor on your own.

7. Seek help with living expenses

Your insurance provider might be able to assist you if the damage to your house is so severe that you are unable to live there. A typical homeowners policy includes loss of use coverage, which will cover expenses like hotel stays and restaurant meals if you are unable to live at home. Again, you’ll want to save any receipts to make sure you’re properly reimbursed for this component of your homes insurance claim.


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