Making an Insurance Claim

insurance claim
If your home is damaged due to events such as fires or floods, or your property damaged or items stolen due to theft, you’re going to want to get the ball rolling immediately for repairs and replacements. There are some steps to take during the process of submitting your homeowner claim, and as noted at squareoneinsurance.com, they are as follows:

1.) Contact your insurance provider. You will want to promptly report any losses or damage so to begin the claim process. Failure to do so promptly could delay or deny your claim. Even in extenuating circumstances, such as an evacuation order, you should still call your provider within 24 hours. Depending on the company you deal with, this can be done over the phone or online. You will need to provide personal information, policy number and details around the damage to your property.

Once you have contacted your insurance company, the claims process will begin. Be prepared to engage in an extensive process that may require a lot of details and information on your part. In essence, the entire process can be split into three general areas:

• your first contact with the insurance company,
• an evaluation of your claim
• a resolution/settlement,which may precede a period of negotiation

2.) Secure and preserve your property/premises

This step can often happen simultaneously with step 1 – for example, if you are experiencing a flood due to a burst pipe, your first step will be to locate your primary water source and shut it off. However, there are some other precautions you can take after you’ve completed step one, such as blocking off any areas of damage or areas that are unsafe, turning off electrical, checking for gas fumes and moving items away from flooded or damaged areas.

3.) Make a list of all damaged items

This point of the process is when you want to combine any values, items and receipts for any of your possessions that have been damaged. You can also take photos of the damage.

4.) Consider your options during the process

This step includes knowing your rights and options as a policy holder. Your insurance provider will oversee your case and usually use their own set of professionals, including an adjuster, contractor, etc. to guide you through the process. On the contrary, you are generally within your rights to hire your own set of professionals, such as a public adjuster and contractor, to help you through the claims process.

5.) Close the Claim

Once your insurance claim has been processed, you will pay your deductible and be issued replacement items or money for your losses. You will also be set up with industry professionals to complete repairs in your home. Your insurance provider will pay all invoices on your behalf, minus your deductible. Further, you may be asked to complete a Proof of Loss form.

There are also some common mistakes that people make during the process. Be sure not to do the following:

  • Don’t begin repairing anything until approved by insurance company
  • Don’t throw away anything – especially damaged items or personal belongings. You will likely need these to prove the claim to the insurance company.
  • Resist the urge to clean up and try to leave items as they are for evaluation.

As mentioned before, don’t assume you have to use the insurance company’s vendors. You have the right to hire your own experts such as contractors, public adjusters, electricians or engineers to do the job. You are also entitled to get a few quotes for the scope of the work to ensure that the cost of the repairs is falling in line with the market norm.

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