For Consumers

Filing a homeowner insurance claim

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Consider the value of a claim

Insurance companies generally consider your claims history when deciding to continue covering you or adjusting your premiums.

Before you file a claim, make sure the claim is worthwhile. For example, if the repairs cost only slightly more than your deductible, you may want to consider not turning in a claim and just pay for the repair yourself.

How to file a claim

  • Contact your agent or company. Review your policy with them and ask what's covered.
  • Ask what information they need to process your claim. Provide that information, including contact information, if you cannot live in the home.
  • If the loss is due to a crime, such as a burglary, notify the police.
  • Be ready to provide receipts, photos, etc. to prove your loss.
  • Keep copies.

What to expect after you file a claim

What to expect from your insurer

Your company will send an adjuster to determine the damage. Then the discussion on who you'd like to do the work starts. In general, your insurer must complete its investigation of your claim within 30 days from the date you file the claim.

What you need to do

  • Stay involved.
  • Try and stop any further damage to your home.
  • Take photos to document the damage.
  • Keep track of your expense. Your insurer may reimburse you.
  • Don't expect your adjuster to be your general contractor.
  • Stay in contact with both your adjuster and contractor.
  • If something doesn't make sense, ask questions.
  • Talk with your insurer.
  • Know your claim responsibilities and rights.