Filing a Homeowner's Insurance Claim: Process & Claim Responsibilities

September 7, 2023

home property damage insurance

Few things can be more unsettling than major damage to your home or property, which can lead to weeks of repairs and ongoing conversations with your insurance company, or even leave you temporarily homeless. In this article, we’ll discuss tips to help you file a homeowner’s insurance claim with ease and lessen the stress of dealing with property damage.

  • File a police report if necessary.
  • Contact your insurance company to file a claim immediately.
  • Take steps to prevent additional damage to your property.
  • Ask for a list of contractors from your insurance adjuster or agent.
  • Document the damage.
  • Use local contractors or referrals from your insurer for homeownership claims
  • Receive the claim payout and complete repairs.

File A Police Report If Necessary.

It's important to report the incident to the police promptly, especially if it involves theft, vandalism, or any criminal activity related to your property. By doing so, you create an official record of the event, ensuring that it's properly documented and recognized by the authorities. This not only strengthens your case but also demonstrates your commitment to resolving the matter.

Contact Your Insurance Company To File A Claim Immediately.

After experiencing property damage, it's important to promptly contact your insurance company. When reaching out, make sure to have your name, address, policy number, and a description of the damage ready. Timely notification is essential to speed up the claim process and ensure you receive the necessary assistance and coverage. Be sure to provide your insurer with all relevant details, supporting documentation, and any additional information they may need. Their prompt and accurate understanding of the situation will help expedite your claim.

Farm Bureau Insurance of Tennessee customers can report a claim 24/7 by calling our Claims Reporting Service at 1-877-876-2222 or by reaching us online.

Take Steps To Prevent Additional Damage To Your Property.

While waiting for your insurance claim to be processed, take immediate action to prevent further damage. For instance, if your roof is damaged and rain is expected, cover it with a tarp to protect against water damage. Depending on the damage, secure broken windows, address safety hazards, and protect damaged areas. These precautions minimize the impact and show your commitment to damage mitigation. Remember to save receipts for temporary repairs, hotel stays, meals, pet boarding, dry cleaning, and other related expenses.

Ask For A List Of Contractors From Your Insurance Adjustor Agent.

Requesting a list of contractors from your insurance adjuster or agent is important when filing a homeowner's insurance claim. These professionals have experience in property damage repairs and understand the claim process. Hiring them saves time and effort, ensuring your property is in capable hands. Avoid making significant repairs yourself to prevent further damage; it's best to leave it to a professional.

Document The Damage.

To support your homeowner's insurance claim, thoroughly document the damage. Take photos or videos of affected areas, noting missing items and descriptions of damaged items with approximate value. Keep everything and make detailed notes. Comprehensive and organized documentation serves as valuable evidence for your insurance company's evaluation, ensuring a smoother and more accurate claims assessment. Be sure to keep in touch with your adjuster throughout the documentation process. By maintaining regular contact, you can provide any necessary additional information, address inquiries promptly, and stay informed about the progress of your claim.

Use Local Contractors Or Referrals From Your Insurer For Homeownership Claims.

When dealing with the aftermath of property damage, it’s important to keep in mind that your insurance adjuster and agent are your best resources for contractors and referrals. Too often, we see customers use companies known as “storm chasers” who seek people in areas that have recently experienced a disaster and are in need of immediate repairs. Storm chasers typically leave the area shortly after their work is completed and are not available for follow up repairs or warranties. They also may not have knowledge of laws and building codes in your local area.

Receive The Claim Payout And Complete Repairs

After your homeowner's insurance claim is approved, you'll receive a payout from your insurance company. Review it carefully to ensure it covers the claimed damages accurately. Once you receive the funds, hire contractors or professionals to proceed with necessary repairs promptly. Completing the repairs will restore your home and provide closure to the ordeal.

Frequently Asked Questions When Filing a Homeowners Insurance Claim

How Does A Homeowners Insurance Claim Work?

Not all homeowners insurance policies are the same. For example, a Progressive roof replacement policy may differ significantly from a Farm Bureau roof replacement policy. If you’re wondering whether Farm Bureau Insurance covers termite damage, or whether Progressive Insurance covers foundation repair, you need to stop, backtrack, and look closely at the policy details from the specific insurer that holds your policy.

  1. As indicated in the tip section above, your first step toward making a homeowners insurance claim is to call your insurance company to file the claim.
  2. Once you give them all the details, they can help you sort out next steps.
  3. Typically, an adjuster will visit your property to review your claim, offer suggestions for appropriate local contractors who can repair damage, and keep you informed as the entire process progresses.
  4. Once the insurance company reviews and approves your claim, you’ll select the contractor of your choice to complete the job.
  5. Then, your insurer pays the contractor, the contractor completes the work, and the insurer keeps in touch with you and makes sure you receive the service and satisfaction you deserve.

Does Homeowners Insurance Go Up After A Claim?

Though there are exceptions, it’s likely that your homeowners insurance premiums could increase temporarily after you make a claim. However, the amount of the increase can depend on variables like your personal claim history and/or frequency and the type of claim you’re making. Although these decisions are all subjective, you may expect an increase after a claim if you experience a lot of severe weather or crime where you live, or if you’ve filed previous claims recently.

The good news is that these increases are usually temporary. While most claims stay on your record for at least a few years, if you manage to go a few more without another claim, your premiums are likely to decrease again. Though you may not return to the previous rate, it’s likely that your rates will come close.

How Long Do Homeowners Insurance Claims Stay On Your Record?

Homeowners insurance claims typically stay on your record for a certain period, which can vary depending on the insurance company and the specifics of the claim. In general, insurance claims can remain on your record for three to five years. However, it's important to note that each insurance company may have its own policies and guidelines regarding claim records. It's advisable to consult with your insurance provider directly to understand their specific practices regarding claim durations.

Can I File A Claim Against Someone Else’s Homeowners Insurance?

Yes, it is possible to file a claim against someone else's homeowners insurance under certain circumstances. If you experience property damage or personal injury due to the negligence or actions of someone else, their homeowners insurance policy may cover the damages. For example, if your neighbor's tree falls onto your property and causes damage, you may be able to file a claim against their homeowners insurance. It's important to gather evidence, such as photographs and witness statements, to support your claim. Consult with your insurance provider and consider seeking legal advice to understand the specific requirements and process involved in filing a claim against someone else's homeowners insurance.

How Long Does A Homeowners Insurance Claim Take?

The duration of a homeowners insurance claim can vary depending on several factors. The complexity of the claim, the extent of the damage, the cooperation of involved parties, and the efficiency of the claims process can all impact the timeline. Some claims may be resolved within a few weeks, while others may take several months. It's important to promptly report the claim to your insurance company, provide all necessary documentation and information, and stay in regular communication with your claims adjuster. By doing so, you can help expedite the process and minimize delays.

What Is The Time Limit For Filing A Homeowners Insurance Claim?

The time limit for filing a homeowners insurance claim, also known as the "claim filing period" or "claim reporting period," varies depending on the insurance policy and the specific terms and conditions set by the insurance company. Generally, insurance policies require homeowners to report claims promptly after the occurrence of an incident. It's important to review your insurance policy or contact your insurance provider directly to understand the specific time limit for filing a claim. Failing to report a claim within the designated period may result in a denial of coverage, so it's crucial to initiate the claims process as soon as possible after discovering the damage or incident.

Need Help With Your Homeowners Claim?

Farm Bureau Insurance of Tennessee offers round-the-clock claim reporting options to its customers. Report a claim by calling our Claims Reporting Service at 1-877-876-2222 or by connecting with us online.

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