You return home to find damage to your home. Maybe it was due to a storm, a break-in, or something else. You’re understandably uneasy, and now must deal with the damage. As you prepare to file a homeowners (or renters) insurance claim, we have tips to help the process go smoothly.

Report the Damages

If your home has been broken into, vandalized, had a fire or other damage, report the incident to the local authorities. The responding police and/or fire departments will file a report. Ask if you can have a copy of this report, as it will help when you contact your insurance company and file your homeowners claim.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your agent as soon as you are able and begin the claims process. When filing your homeowners claim, your insurance company will ask for your name, property address, policy number, and the date that the damage or injury took place. Your claims representative will help you take care of your immediate needs and let you know what to expect with the claims process.

Take Stock

It’s tempting to begin cleaning up right away and restore a sense of order in a chaotic situation. But, before you begin clean up, take photos of the damages so you can include those photos with the claim. Note what was damaged, how and when the damage occurred. Depending on how severe the damages are, Farm Bureau may send a Claims Representative to your home.

Make Your Home Livable

When you are talking to your claims representative, they may ask if the damages would prevent you from living in your home. If your home is uninhabitable, be sure to make temporary repairs so that no further damages can occur. Document with ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos and save your receipts. Your agent can work with you to file for reimbursement.

Work with the Claims Representative

If you have a completed Home Inventory Kit, your claims representative will use it to complete the claim forms and help ensure you are reimbursed for covered personal property that was lost or damaged. As long as you keep your home inventory updated, you will have an accurate view of what was inside your home at the time of the loss and make processing the claim go quickly and smoothly. Be sure that your home inventory kit is as accurate as possible and includes photos and receipts.

Be Available

As your claim (and the repair work on your home) progresses, your claims representative may have questions. Be sure they have the best phone number for you on file, so they can reach you with any questions.

If you have a homeowners (or renters) insurance claim, your Farm Bureau agent and claims representative are here to help every step of the way. We want to make the claims process as smooth as possible for you. You can follow your claim through the claims process with our updated Claims Tracker – simply log on to your online account to view.