A house insurance claim is a policyholder's application for benefits. A policyholder may file a claim after experiencing a covered loss. The insurer will evaluate the situation, determine if coverage applies, and, if so, calculate the amount of the settlement. Your insurance company will then pay your claim to reimburse you for the cost of repairs less your policy deductible. For example, if your home suffered $2,000 of damages and your policy deductible is $500, you would receive a settlement of $1,500.

Before You File

To maximize the chances that your insurer will pay, you should make the following considerations before you file:

The Filing Process

Filing your claim properly will help your home insurer reimburse you as quickly as possible. Here are the steps you should take when filing:

  1. File a police report if applicable. If a crime has occurred, you will need to notify the policy and keep a copy of the report for your insurance company.
  2. Call your insurance agent or company right away. Most home insurers impose a time limit on when you can file a claim after a loss occurs, so file as soon as you can. Your insurer should have a 24-hour phone number that you can call to initiate the process.
  3. Handle urgent repairs. You may need to make temporary repairs to your home to stay safe or prevent further damage. Keep track of your expenses if you do so.
  4. Make a list of damaged or lost items. Take an inventory of the items that were lost or damaged. Don't get rid of damaged items until a adjuster has visited your property.
  5. Keep a record of your additional living expenses. If your home becomes uninhabitable and you must arrange other accommodations, keep a record of your lodging, food, and other expenses. Most home insurance policies will reimburse you for your living expenses until your home is repaired or replaced.
  6. Complete necessary forms. After you notify your insurer of the situation, they will send you the paperwork in the mail. Complete the forms, make copies, and return them to your insurance company.
  7. Arrange for an adjuster to inspect your home. Your insurance company will want to send an adjuster to inspect the damage to your home. You can also hire an independent appraiser to verify your insurer's evaluation of the damage.