Tips for homeowners and renters looking to get insurance

Home Insurance

Notify authorities

This is an essential first step in preventing a burglary or vandalism, fire, or any other trauma. Leaky roofs, malfunctioning HVAC systems, etc. These are not usually reasons to call the fire or police department. You should give all details to the police or fire department if they are sent to your home. Keep a copy of the reports. You will need them to file your insurance claim.

Contact your insurance company

Contact your insurance agent or company’s claims team after you have filed a fire or police report. Most policies require you to contact your insurance agent or company’s claims department within a specified time frame after the loss. Make sure you have your policy number and all details about the incident when you call.

Fill out a claim form with your agent

This form contains all details about the incident. It is important to be thorough. Take note of what was damaged and when. A claims report is sufficient for small claims. Your agent might send an adjuster to inspect larger losses.

Document the damage

Photograph or record any damage before you start cleaning up. Include the photos with your claim. Visually documenting your home and belongings prior to a loss is a smart idea. This will allow you to have “before” and “after” images when filing a claim.

Temporary repairs can be made to make your home safe and livable.

You can make temporary repairs while you wait for your claim to process. You should review your policy to see what is covered. Also, make sure you save any receipts for repairs. You should not start major, permanent repairs or renovations before your claim has been settled and your compensation confirmed.

Keep your receipts in case you need them.

Your policy may cover you if your home is damaged beyond repair. Discuss with your agent how to send receipts from restaurants and hotels for reimbursement.

Be available

After you file a claim, be available and ready to speak with your claims adjuster and insurance agent. Your claim will be processed faster if you are able to answer any questions and provide the necessary information as quickly as possible.