What to do when you have a homeowners claim
Whether a homeowner’s claim is due to a natural event or an unfortunate circumstance, following the steps below will help the claim be handled more smoothly and swiftly.
Contact your insurance agent or company
Contact your insurance agency or insurance company as soon as possible to file the claim. Provide details of the damage in order to make the claims process run as smooth as possible. This includes dates, details of the claim, weather conditions, witnesses, etc. If there is a flood in your home, contact the insurance agency or company immediately and find out what information regarding your circumstances your insurer will need to know.
If you are unsure if you have coverage for your claim, call your insurance agency or insurance company to discuss further. There may be coverage available that you are not aware of.
Assess and record the damages
Document any damages that occur to your home and/or personal property. Take pictures or use a video camera to capture the damage. Get close and clear pictures of furniture, walls, floors, personal property, etc. If possible, separate the damaged personal property from the undamaged. Do not throw anything away. The insurance adjustor will want to inspect the damaged property.
Make an inventory list of items that have been damaged, possibly damaged or missing.
Note: If you have documentation (photos, video, receipts, serial numbers, etc.) of your home’s content from before the damage occurred, have that available for the adjustor. Having that information will make the homeowner’s insurance claim process run more smoothly, allowing the adjustor the opportunity to compare the before and after condition of the property.
Protect your property from further damage.
Take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage. That means covering roof damage with a tarp to alleviate additional damage, boarding up a broken window or renting a wet vacuum to remove standing water. Save the receipts for items purchased or rented to mitigate additional home damage as those can be reimbursed by the insurance company.
When the adjustor wants to arrange for a meeting to inspect your home, be as flexible as possible and cooperate with them. This will make the claims process run more smoothly and allow for the claim to be handled more quickly.