You walk in your house and 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, follow these homeowners insurance claim tips to help the process go smoothly.
What to Do Before Filing a Home Insurance Claim
It’s tempting to begin cleaning up right away and restore a sense of order in a chaotic situation. Follow these four steps following the incident.
1. Report the Damages
If your home has been impacted by a crime, broken into, vandalized or had a fire, report the incident to the local authorities immediately. The responding police and/or fire departments will file a report.
2. Take Stock of the Damage
While you wait, take photos of the damage 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.
3. Obtain a Copy of the Report
Your insurance company will want a copy of the police or fire report when you file your homeowners claim.
4. Gather Your Policy Details
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.
How to File a Homeowners or Renters Insurance Claim
Here’s how to help your insurance company process your claim quickly and smoothly.
1. Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your agent as soon as you are able and begin the property damage insurance claim process. Your claims representative will help you take care of your immediate needs and let you know what next steps to expect.
2. Work with the Claims Representative
Your claims representative will use your Home Inventory Kit 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 with photos and receipts, you will have an accurate view of what was inside your home at the time of the loss. (Try out one of these home inventory apps!) If your documentation is out of date, be sure to tell your claims representative immediately.
3. Ask Questions
It can be hard to keep things straight in the face of a crisis. If you have questions about deadlines, paperwork or the claims process, call or email your claims representative or agent. Remember: Your claims representative is your partner in getting your life back to normal as quickly as possible.
4. Make Temporary Repairs
You are required to protect your home from additional damage and your policy covers these emergency repairs. Document with before and after photos and save your receipts. Your agent can work with you to file for reimbursement.
5. Be Available
As your claim — and the repair work on your home — progresses, your claims representative may have questions. Be sure they have your best phone number and email on file, so they can reach you quickly.
What to Expect After Filing a Homeowners Claim
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. They’ll walk you through your coverage and payment to replace or repair your belongings. Follow along your claims process with our updated Claims Tracker — simply log on to your online account.