Experiencing a loss can be very stressful, but having insurance coverage can help alleviate the financial burden a loss can cause. The first step in restoring your property and moving forward is to determine if your policy provides coverage for the loss. To do this, you will need to file a claim with your insurer. Below are steps you can take to ease your stress and help make the process easier.
1. Keep an inventory of all your possessions.
An easy way to do this is to take photos/videos of each room and all of the contents in the rooms. Also, consider keeping receipts with the purchase date and original cost for your records too, in case of total loss. Your inventory list should be consistently updated, which can be done easily if you record new items shortly after purchasing them. You can download our home inventory checklist below. Home Inventory Checklist
2. Reach out to your agent first.
In the event of a potential claim, it’s best to contact your agent directly first, instead of the broader insurance provider. Your agent will be able to explain your options and advise on whether filing a claim is in your best interest.
3. Report your loss promptly.
Always file your claim as soon as you possibly can! Of course, theft losses should be reported to the police first, and in other situations of danger, safety takes priority. But once it’s safe and reasonable to do so, you should call your insurance agent. This is important because your policy might require you to make the notification within a certain amount of time. Not filing a claim within the time required in your policy may lead to a denial of the claim or may result in the claims process taking longer.
4. Be prepared with the right information.
When you follow for your claim or make follow-up calls regarding the process, be sure to have the right information on hand. Keep the following information handy for your claims representative:
- Name and address
- Policy number
- Date the loss happened
- A description of what happened
5. Keep detailed records.
While going through the claims process, be sure to write down important information from your phone conversations and in-person meetings with claims representatives and other contacts. This should include the date and time, as well as the name and title of the person you spoke with. This will help you stay organized and create records that may come in handy later.
6. Make appropriate emergency repairs.
If you’re dealing with property damage, it may be necessary to make immediate emergency repairs to prevent additional damages (such as calling a plumber to fix a broken pipe). Your policy might cover these emergency repairs, so be sure to ask about them when filing your claim. It is VERY important to take photos/videos before making the repairs and save the receipts from all of the work done.
7. Ask questions.
Don’t be afraid to ask your claims representative for more information or clarification, because if you’re both on the same page, the claims process will go much more smoothly.