Tips for Filing Homeowner Insurance Claims

Last updated on: April 29, 2014

How to File a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim

When you experience damage to your home, whether from hail or wind damage, fire or floods, you want prompt payment of your insurance claim. And that prompt payment may rely upon your ability to take the following steps:

  • Keep a home inventory and use a camera or a video camera to document everything that you own. The photos or videos will serve as proof of what you owned while preserving your memory on all of the little things that you may forget to claim. These small items they can add up to big money when you have to replace them all at once.
  • Document your loss by obtaining estimates from reputable sources to support your claim.
  • Keep all of your paperwork together in one place. Place all of your evidence together including papers, photos, videos, receipts and estimates to make them easier to find when you are ready to file your claim. It will also be easier to grab them if you have to leave home in a hurry. Of course, by renting a safe deposit box, you won’t have to worry about where your papers are or have to grab them in an emergency on your way out of the house.
  • Keep a log to document all of your conversations with your insurance agent; keep a log of dates, times and the subject matter and keep this with the rest of your paperwork.
  • Insure your property at replacement cost. There can be a huge difference between replacing your property with new versus replacing it with a comparable make or model. The difference between what you originally paid versus what it will cost you to replace the property later on can be as much as a 90% difference in price. Always insure for replacement cost.
  • Purchase special riders for your valuables including furs, jewelry, or artwork. Purchasing a rider can provide additional coverage for items that are under-insured or not covered at all under your homeowner’s policy.
  • Keeping your home in good repair by spending money on repairs and maintenance can help you avoid costly repairs or a personal injury lawsuit in the future.