7 Simple Steps to Reporting a Homeowners Insurance Claim

An oak tree damaging the roof of a house, indicating the need to report a homeowners insurance claimMany unfortunate events can damage your home: a burglary, a violent hurricane, or a cooking accident. To receive the help you need from your homeowners insurance, you must follow a set of rules and procedures that were outlined in the contract between you and the insurer. It’s important to read the details of your policy to determine your responsibilities, but to get you started, we’ve provided some simple steps to reporting a homeowners insurance claim.

1.    Report a Crime to the Authorities

If your home is the victim of vandalization, burglary, or theft, your first action should be to call the police. The authorities will file a report containing a detailed description of the losses and property damage that you can provide to your insurance carrier. Also, be sure to gather the names of the law enforcement officers involved in the investigation in case you need to relay this information to the insurance company.

2.    Contact Your Insurance Agent

Call your independent insurance agent and ask them whether you’re covered for the damages incurred. You can also inquire if the claim will exceed the deductible, in which case you will need to go through the claims filing process, and whether you’ll be required to obtain an estimate for the home repairs.

3.    Fill Out the Homeowners Insurance Claim Form

Once you inform your insurance carrier that you’ll be filing a claim, they will forward you the appropriate claim forms. You will be required to send these back to the company within a specified period. To avoid delays, you’ll want to fill the forms out and return them as soon as possible.

4.    Have an Insurance Adjuster Inspect the Damage

This will likely not require much effort on your behalf. Your insurance carrier will most likely send an adjuster to inspect the damages to your home. The adjuster will interview you, inspect the property, and determine how much the insurance company should pay for your loss. We have a list of agencies on our website to assist with filing claims.

5.    Make Short-Term Repairs to the Damage

Events like hurricanes or fires can leave you with extensive damage that will need to be patched up. After taking photographs and videos of the damage, enact measures to protect your home from further damage by performing some light, temporary repairs. Do not discard any of the damaged portions of the home you remove so you can show them to the adjuster. Also, save any receipts from any of the materials you buy to do the repairs, as the cost can be reimbursed by your provider later.

6.    Keep your Receipts if You Have to Temporarily Relocate

If your home is damaged to the extent that you need to seek temporary residence elsewhere while repairs are made, be sure to keep the receipts for the accommodations and any additional expenses. Many homeowners insurance policies will cover the living expenses in such cases as long as you provide proof of the costs.

7.    Create a List of Damaged or Lost Items

You will need to provide a list of destroyed or damaged articles to the adjuster and the insurance provider. If possible, include any receipts for the lost items to substantiate your losses more accurately. Having a home inventory or itemizing your coverage will provide further proof of your claim.

A scenario that eventually leads to a claim can be a stressful and sometimes frightening experience; that’s why it’s important to learn these basic steps to reporting a homeowners insurance claim ahead of time. If you’re prepared to utilize your insurance policy when needed, TJ Woods Insurance can make sure you’re outfitted with the appropriate homeowners insurance to cover your needs. Contact us today for more information on reporting a claim or to find out what policies would be right for you.