Home & Real Estate

A Guide on How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim

If your home has been damaged by a fire, flood, or theft, you may wonder how the homeowner’s insurance claim process works. This step-by-step guide will help you return to your “home sweet home” quickly. Document all damage. Take photos or videos, and create a list of lost items (a home inventory will speed this up). Save receipts for expenses you incur if your house is uninhabitable.


Contact Your Agent

Home insurance Ft Myers, FL is designed to reimburse you for property damage and lost items. But you can only file a claim after first contacting your agent. Make sure you’re prepared by having a complete home inventory that includes photos of your possessions. Your agent will use this to help you fill out the appropriate forms, and they can also provide a list of additional coverage options to consider. Be honest about your situation and the extent of the damage. Filing a homeowners insurance claim for everything can lead to frustration, costly delays, and even policy non-renewal. Plus, claims on your record can cause premium increases.

Notify Your Insurance Company

The process for filing homeowners insurance claims varies by company and state, but most policies require that the insurer is notified promptly after damage, theft, or loss. Take pictures and videos of any damage, and go room-by-room to inventory damaged or lost items. Please don’t throw anything away, as you may be able to document that an adjuster has destroyed it. Also, compile details of any interactions with police personnel if your property has been the victim of burglary or vandalism. A police report is required in this case and can be used as backup documentation for your claim. Be aware that even a small claim can result in a high premium that will stay with you until you’ve repaired or replaced your home again.

Gather Evidence

Dealing with homeowners’ insurance claims can be complicated. To ensure that your claim is successful, it’s crucial to provide sufficient evidence. If you find reaching an agreement with your insurer challenging or your claim has been denied unfairly, you can dispute it. To get started, record all the expenses related to the damage, including photos and documentation. Also, save receipts for any living expenses incurred if your home is unlivable during repairs. Finally, make an inventory of all the damaged personal property to speed up the processing of your claim by the insurance adjuster.

Schedule an Inspection

Depending on the type of claim, your insurer may send an adjuster to examine your home and estimate repair costs. If so, schedule an appointment and be present at the inspection. Photographs of the damage are essential, but a video can also help you provide a more comprehensive description and show off any close-up details like hail or water damage. Use a ruler or dollar bill for scale in your pictures, and include wide shots for context. If necessary, make reasonable emergency repairs to prevent further damage and save receipts for materials and labor. Insurers typically reimburse for living expenses while your home is repaired, too, so save receipts for hotel rooms and babysitting services.

File a Claim

Generally, the insurance company will assign an adjuster to help you file your claim and get back on track with repairs or rebuilding. You’ll be asked for your policy number, name, address, phone number, a description of the loss, and any photos or videos you have taken of the damage. You’ll also be asked to submit documentation of any expenses incurred because your home was damaged or destroyed, such as hotel rooms and meals. The amount your insurer reimburses for these costs depends on your policy’s additional living expense clause. It’s essential to keep receipts for everything.