If your home has recently suffered from damage, destruction, theft or any kind of loss that is covered by your policy, then you will need to file a claim with the insurer in order to receive payment under the terms of your agreement. The provider, once receiving your claim will assign an adjuster to your case.

An insurance adjuster is someone who specializes in evaluating the physical circumstances surrounding a claim, who will work with you personally as a liaison with the company and determine what your settlement will be and how it will be awarded. The period of time between the adjuster's appraisal and your final acceptance of the settlement is known as the settlement process.

Your Claim is Adjusted

The first step in the settlement process is to adjust your claim once you have received it. This is done when you are assigned a claims adjuster who will inspect the damage to your home and offer you an amount to effect repairs. Sometimes this will simply be an advance against a larger amount that is coming, so that you can get started on the repairs or in replacing damaged/stolen items.

Your Claim is Settled

After a more thorough investigation of the damage to your property, you may be required to submit a detailed loss report for any items that need to be repaired, their estimated value and how much you paid for them. Depending on the type of plan you have - either replacement cost or actual value. If you have the more expensive replacement cost option, you will be offered a settlement amount based on however much it would take to replace your lost or damaged items today. Actual value insurance means that your claims list will go through some depreciation at the hands of the claims adjuster before an offer is made.

If there was structural damage done as well as damage to your personal property then you will receive two checks. One written out to you for the replacement of your personal items and another one written out to both you and your mortgage company, if you have one. Most mortgage companies at this point will insist that you sign the check over to them so that they can put it in escrow and pay out specific amounts to you for the repairs as they are needed. If this is the case, you will want to be very careful in keeping all receipts for things that you spend your own money on as well as copies of estimates for repairs from the contractors. Your mortgage company may also insist that you get two or three quotes from different companies before approving repairs and sending the funds for it.

Once you come to an agreement with the claims adjuster and sign some documents agreeing to the settlement, your case will be considered settled with the provider and the claim will be closed. Under most circumstances, if you find other damage that you missed, you can ask that the case be reopened and ask for an adjustment for the missing items.