How to File a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim & Tips

by Jay | Last Updated:  Posted on November 2nd, 2022

Many unforeseen dangers come with house ownership. As much as you’d prefer to avoid them, unexpected events are inevitable. Knowing what to expect from your homeowner’s insurance company in case of a claim will help ease your mind.


Our friends at Legal Grit, a property dispute attorney in Florida, helped us write this article.

What is a home insurance claim?

A claim on your homeowner’s insurance policy is a request for cash compensation from your insurance company due to property damage, such as water damage, mold, natural disaster, and even theft. Any reputable insurer will explain their claims process before you sign. This explanation will comprise which damages are compensated for and to what extent are specified in your policy.

How does a homeowner’s insurance claim work?

The insurance company’s decision on how much money to offer you to fix or replace your damaged property will be based on the details you provide. A settlement describes this type of agreement. In many cases, insurance companies will issue a claim payment before any repairs are made, allowing you to choose a contractor. As the project develops, more funds may be released.

Insurance companies are required to accept claims within a particular time frame, usually between 10 and 30 days. In practice, however, insurance companies typically respond considerably more quickly.

Property insurance stamp on a model wooden home.

How is a homeowner insurance claim assessed?

The insurance adjuster will consider several factors upon visiting your home. This includes: Total damaged area (square footage), harmed things, and whether the damage is repairable, has to be rebuilt, or needs to be replaced.

Steps in filing a home insurance claim

There is a standard protocol that should be followed when filing a claim with your homeowner’s insurance provider; however, the specific steps may vary.

Submit your home insurance claim right away

If you file a claim quickly, you may receive your payout more quickly. To file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance provider, you may use the company’s website, mobile app, or insurance agent or call them.

Your insurance company will issue a claim number and dispatch an adjuster to inspect the wreckage. The insurance carrier will issue the first payment, less your deductible, to cover the projected cost of repairs shortly after that.

Get in touch with your insurer

Your next move should be to contact your home insurance provider. The procedures followed by various businesses will vary. You could be directed to utilize an app or given a phone number to contact an organization.

Ask a business rep about coverage, the claim filing deadline, and the expected processing time while on the phone. Make sure you’ve double-checked your deductible, too. Your deductible is the portion of a medical bill you are responsible for paying before insurance pays anything. Think about whether or not the amount of your loss will be larger than your insurance deductible.

It may not be worth the hassle of submitting a claim if the loss is less than your deductible, and you would have to pay for the repair.

Complete the insurance forms

Your insurance provider will supply the paperwork required to submit a claim. The time the corporation has to keep doing this for you is set by state legislation. Be sure to fill them out as soon as possible and return them as specified by your insurance provider.

Keep track of the wreckage

Document the extent of damage to your property by taking pictures and video. This will help you determine what needs to be fixed and what can be replaced. Also, this data could be useful in ensuring you receive a good payout from your insurance provider.

Immediately fix the problem and stop it from getting worse

It may be necessary to conduct emergency repairs if there is a chance of further destruction. To do this, you might need to board up windows, cover exposed sections with tarps, fix leaks, or unclog drains. If you decide to make these fixes and submit a claim to your insurance provider for reimbursement, save all of your receipts.

Wait for the insurance adjuster to visit

Your homeowner’s insurance provider will typically dispatch an insurance claims adjuster to evaluate the damage and provide you with a settlement offer. At your property’s appointment with the adjuster, you’ll be able to walk them through the damage and explain the extent of the loss.

Taking stock of all broken items in your home will help move things along quickly. Replaced items should have their respective receipts included. To better document the losses, you should not discharge any damaged items until the adjuster arrives.

Get price quotes for the repairs

You can ask certified professionals for repair estimates to learn the actual cost of restoring your property. Once you have those projections, you may use the data to bargain with the insurance company about how much you will ultimately receive.

Obtain an offer of settlement you are at ease with

Your insurance provider will offer you a settlement once they’ve finished everything. Before accepting the offer, ensure you are at ease with it. Your contractor might be able to assist you in negotiating with the insurance company for a greater sum if you’re uncomfortable with the settlement offer. You could also need to hire a public adjuster or an attorney.

Finalize repairs

Typically, the insurance provider will pay a portion of the contractor’s fee up front and then release additional funds as the job advances. You can buy replacement items with the cash provided by the insurance company. You can tap a contractor to make it easier and more efficient.

Close up real estate agent with house model hand putting signing contract,have a contract in place to protect it,signing of modest agreements form in office.Concept real estate,moving home or renting property

Frequently asked questions

Does claiming your homeowner’s insurance raise your premiums?

Your homeowner’s insurance premiums could go up or down after filing a claim, depending on the nature of the claim and the underwriting standards of your insurance provider. The frequency with which you have filed claims and the total amount paid out in claims may be considered by insurance companies.

My insurance claim is rejected; what should I do?

You might first attempt to appeal your case directly with the homeowner’s insurance provider. If it doesn’t work, you can complain to the insurance department in your state. You can also consider getting help from a public adjuster, attorney, or mediator.

Does it take a long time to process an insurance claim?

Making an insurance claim can be quite simple, but depending on the circumstances, it could take quite a while. On estimate, it can take days to months to submit, depending on the complexity of the claim and how well the policyholder has prepared for it.

Is there a deadline for filing a claim?

The length of time you have to submit a claim is specified in your insurance policy, and most states have laws and deadlines that apply to both you and your insurer to speed up the process. The important thing is to make sure that you submit the necessary documentation on time.

Conclusion

The worth of the damage is calculated using software based on the square footage and construction components of your home after the adjuster has recorded all the damage. They also include the costs you supply for quotes and invoices for repairs or replacements of broken products. They then look at the coverage that your policy offers.

Your representative will go over your policy with you, including the dwelling coverage, personal property coverage, and loss of use coverage, and will clarify what is and isn’t covered and the scope of each. Your claims payout is also impacted by the kind of coverage you have. Give your adjuster a copy of your house inventory if you have one; doing so will speed up the process.

Jay

Self assessed Germaphobe, specializing in everything water, water filters, health and nutrition. Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, I've acquired immense amount of knowledge when it comes to natural, biology, and everything about human anatomy.