7 Steps to Take When Filing Property Insurance Claims

In 2018, almost 6 percent of homeowners filed an insurance claim. Over 98 percent of those claims were related to property damage and included losses from theft.

While filing property insurance claims can be a hassle, it doesn’t have to be a costly or annoying process. In fact, if you take all the necessary steps and avoid making small mistakes, the entire thing can be fairly quick and easy.

Read on to learn everything you need to know.

1. File a Police Report if Necessary

If a crime, like theft or even vandalism, was involved then it might be necessary for you to file a police report before making any other calls.

It’s also important to keep track of any and every person you speak with at the police department or any person who comes to inspect your property. 

Ask for a copy of the police report and your case number, and be sure to stay communicative and cooperative throughout the entire process. 

2. Notify Your Insurance Company

While you might not know it, most insurance policies actually require property owners to notify their insurance company promptly after a storm, theft, fire, injury, or some other event whether you choose to see coverage or not.

Some companies make the process easy by allowing you to file a claim online or through their app, but in most cases, it’s best to speak directly with a representative.

Before you make any calls, however, take the time to sit down and read through your policy to get an understanding of what is and isn’t covered. Even if you think you know everything in it, it’s still a good idea to get a refresher.

This is especially important in the event that you need to question anything the insurance company tells you. The chances of this happening are rare, but they can definitely happen and you want to ensure you’re prepared from the beginning Wholesaler Distributor Insurance .

Most notably, however, is the fact that if you fail to file a claim within a certain amount of time, your insurance company won’t have to cover any damage to your property.

3. Make Urgent Repairs

Your next step needs to be making any reasonable emergency repairs that are needed to prevent further damage to your property. Most property insurance companies allow this, while others require it.

If you run into any problems, these attorneys can help you out.

Just be sure to take photos of the damage, and to take photos after repairs are made. It’s also essential that you keep any receipts or invoices you get so your insurance company can reimburse you for them later.

4. Document Your Claim

Aside from keeping photos, videos, receipts, or invoices pertaining to your claim, you also need to keep track of any other documentation you receive throughout the process.

Keep track of the dates, times, and names of the people you speak with throughout the process. If you’re told a certain thing over the phone, make sure you ask for and receive verification of it in writing. Document any stolen, damaged, or destroyed possessions, along with their approximate value.

Once you’ve filed your claim, the insurance company is going to send out an appraiser to interview you, and also inspect and assess the damage. This is going to determine how much you’re owed from the insurance company.

Be sure to accompany the appraiser throughout the process so you can point out structural damage or areas of concern, and also so you can ask questions you may have.

5. Remember to Read Your Policy

Before the appraiser comes, however, be sure you look through your insurance policy thoroughly. This is only going to help protect you from losses throughout the process.

It’s going to give you a good understanding of what is and isn’t covered in your policy, and it’s also going to help you understand what duties or rules you’re obligated to follow throughout the process.

6. Don’t Be Difficult With the Insurance Company

This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when filing a property insurance claim.

Failure to cooperate with your insurance company throughout the process is sometimes grounds for the company to deny coverage or cancel your claim altogether. If they don’t deny your claim, it can indeed slow the entire process down.

7. Question Everything

While cooperating with your insurance company is important to do, you also shouldn’t be afraid to question any amounts your insurer gives you outrightly.

It can be smart to obtain values for everything you’re filing a claim on before the appraisal happens so you have a good idea of what you should be getting back as compensation.

Costs are obviously going to vary from place to place, but leaving no room for error on your insurance company’s part is a smart move to make so you know all your expenses are going to be covered fully.

If you don’t agree with any valuation you receive from your insurer, it’s important to let them know. You can also seek assistance from an attorney, your insurance agent, or your state’s insurance department.

Be Thorough When Filing Property Insurance Claims

Filing property insurance claims can be a confusing process, but avoiding small mistakes throughout the process can save you a lot of time and energy later down the line.

At a minimum, remember to keep track of everything throughout the process, and remain communicative with every party involved. 

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