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Homeowners Insurance Claims Guide

We all hope that we will never have to file a claim for theft, injury or other perils in the home.

But the fact is that most homeowners do have to file an insurance [1] claim at some point, whether because their home is broken into, a fire occurs, somebody is injured in an accident, a component like plumbing fails, or a tree limb falls on your roof.

And since none of these events are things we wish to dwell on, many people fail to prepare ahead of time for the possibility that a claim must be made.

One of the main reasons you pay home insurance premiums is to have the peace of mind that if unfortunate events occur, you will be protected from financial loss, which only compounds the emotional stress and trauma experienced!

Prepare in Advance of Claims

Waiting until an insurable peril occurs to prepare almost always ends up costing time and money for homeowners, so following these tips will help you to be prepared in advance and know what steps are required should you need to file a homeowner’s insurance claim!

The claims process varies somewhat from one insurer to another and depending upon what event takes place and whether your loss involves theft versus damage to your property, personal injury or a combination of these unfortunate circumstances.

You will want to print this guide and keep it handy so that you can quickly refer to it in case the need does arise to file a home insurance claim.

In general, your standard homeowner’s insurance policy provides safety and security for your home and personal belongings as well as covering injuries incurred by anybody on your property.

Since your homeowner’s policy is essentially a contract between you and your insurance company, there are consumer protection laws, rules and procedures that both you and your insurer must follow. It is important that you read your insurance and understand your responsibilities and those of your insurer.

Remember that you are responsible for substantiating losses that occur due to an insurable peril. The key to substantiating value of articles that have been stolen, lost or damaged is to document and inventory your belongings ahead of time, keeping receipts for gadgets, jewelry and other personal belongings you purchase and storing these records off premise in your bank safety deposit box or other safe location.

For items such as antiques, collectibles and artwork, be sure to get professional appraisals periodically in order to document their value and be sure to discuss scheduled items with your agent if your valuables exceed the standard limits of your policy in order to insure them for full replacement value.

If you file a claim, your insurance company is required to start an investigation within fifteen days of receiving written notice. Your insurer will ask for detailed information about your loss. Once you have provided such details, your insurance company is allowed fifteen business days to accept or reject the claim.

If the insurance company does agree to pay for a claim, it must do so within five business days. On the other hand, if your insurance company rejects your claim, it must explain the reasons why in writing.

What to do in Case of Theft or Vandalism

Claims Involving Injuries

Claims Involving Natural Disasters

Additional Homeowner’s Insurance Claims Tips