If you’re one of the fortunate souls who has never had to file a homeowners insurance claim, be forewarned: the process can be intimidating. However, while it’s important to follow certain procedures, the actual steps are fairly simple. If your house or personal property is damaged or burglarized, here’s what to do:
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Tell them what happened, providing as much information as possible. Have your policy number or the name of your agent available. If you are unable to stay in your home, be sure to let them know where you can be reached. Keep in mind some companies offer mobile apps to make filing even easier.
- Complete any necessary paperwork. This may sound daunting, but your agent can walk you through it. Required paperwork includes a proof-of-loss form. As well, an adjuster may come to the site to confirm damage and complete a report. If your home was burglarized or vandalized, you’ll also need to file a police report. For your own records, document your contacts with insurance representatives and officers, writing down their names, titles, and dates.
- Document damage. Take pictures. Use your home inventory to help with this process. If possible, safely make temporary repairs to protect your property from further damage.
- Record your expenses. If you complete temporary repairs or incur additional living expenses, track these costs for reimbursement.
As you complete this process, stay in contact with your insurance agent, who can partner with you to navigate these steps.