When filing a home insurance claim for property damage or loss for the first time, what should you expect from the process? There are several items you need to have in place to facilitate the process for your home insurance provider.
Here's a list of 5 essential steps you can take to make the claims filing process easier for you and the insurer.
The Skinny On Home Insurance Claims
Data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners found that 85 percent of homeowners in the United States maintained home insurance. Of these policyholders, 78 percent of these policies were special form policies (HO-3) — comprehensive types of coverage that provides for many of the loss homeowners may experience. Additional studies found that although the frequency of claims have declined (approximately 5 claims per 100 households insured in 2013), the average claim payment made was nearly $8,800.
The 5 Essential Steps For Filing A Home Insurance Claim
The 5 steps to take when filing a home insurance claim include:
- Reviewing your current home insurance coverage
- Gathering necessary claim documentation
- Filing claim with home insurance company
- Checking progress of claim
- Additional steps if claim is denied
Let's take a closer look at each one.
1. Locate Your Current Home Insurance Policy
It is important to locate a copy of your current home insurance policy and review the coverage. Depending on the type of loss (i.e. theft, vandalism, fire), it is important to understand what is covered and if any exclusions or limits have been placed in the policy. This information will help you when preparing your claim filing.
2. Prepare Important Documents For The Claim
When a loss occurs, you must provide supporting documentation for the loss. In the case of home insurance, this may include receipts showing the original value of items lost, medical bills, and photographs of valuable items that are subject to the claim.
3. Contact Your Agent To Place/Review Your Claim
Once you have checked your home insurance policy and collected related documents as part of your proof of claim, you should contact your Garrison Agency representative. Your agent can assist you complete the claims form and promptly submit the information on your behalf to the insurer. Your agent may also be able to advocate on your behalf to help your claim go faster.
4. Follow-Up With Your Home Insurance Provider
After the claim has been made with the home insurance company, allow a reasonable amount of time to elapse for the claim to be processed. If you haven't heard from your insurer after two weeks, contact your agent and inquire on the status of your claim. You may find, through diligent follow-up, that information may be missing which is needed to complete the filing.
5. Determine Next Steps If A Claim Is Denied
From time to time, an insurer may find that a claim has been denied. When this happens, it may be in your interest to contact the home insurance company directly to find out why. You can also see if there is an appeals process in place. Working with your insurer and providing additional information may help reopen their review, and result in a successful resolution on your behalf.
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