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.
- You can tell the insurance representative you do not want to file a claim and just want to know if a potential loss is covered by your policy. If the loss is not covered, you do not want a filed claim on your record.
- 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 insurance company is not required to physically send an adjuster to inspect your home. The company may send out an adjuster, contractor or other professional to inspect the damage to your home. Your insurer has 30 days from the date you filed the claim to inspect the damage to your home.
After the company determines the damage is covered by your policy, the discussion on who you'd like to do the work starts. You do have the right to select your own contractor to complete the work on your home. Your insurance company may recommend contractors who can complete the repairs for the estimate. However, the company is not required to provide you with a list of contractors.
Your insurance company is responsible to issue payment for the repairs to your home that are covered by the insurance policy. It’s not responsible for:
- The availability of contractors.
- Delays in repairs completed by contractors.
- The availability of parts and materials needed to repair your home.
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.