Homeowners need to be prepared to deal with unexpected events. Whether a storm causes a tree to fall on your home, a pipe bursts, someone breaks in, or your home catches on fire, it’s important to know how to file a home insurance claim so that you can get compensation for damages.
The home insurance claims process is relatively straightforward, fortunately, but if you’ve never had to file a claim before, it may seem overwhelming at first. To get compensation for your damages, you’ll need to report a claim, record all damages, and work with an insurance adjuster.
To help you get a better idea of how to complete this process, here’s what you need to know about how home insurance claims work.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?
If you have suffered any damages that are covered under your home insurance policy, you should make sure to file a claim as quickly as possible in order to receive a settlement and make the necessary repairs.
The deadline for filing a homeowner’s insurance claim varies from insurer to insurer and state to state. Your policy will likely state any time limits for filing a claim.
How to Make a Home Insurance Claim
The home insurance claim process can vary slightly depending on your insurance carrier. So the first thing you should do is check with your insurer to see how they tend to handle claims. With that in mind, there are several steps that you will have to take no matter your insurer.
Here’s how to make a home insurance claim:
Document the damages
First and foremost, you need to document any and all damages to your home to back up your claim. This includes taking pictures and videos of any damage to your home’s structure or your personal property.
You should also keep any receipts for expenses you incur following the damages. For example, this could include materials purchased for temporary repairs, temporary cost of living expenses if you were forced out of your home, etc. These receipts will help calculate the total cost of the claim.
Report the claim
Contact your insurance agent as quickly as possible to get the claims process rolling. If the damages were caused by a crime, like a burglary, you should contact law enforcement first and file a police report.
Your claims representative will walk you through the claims process, discuss damages, explain what is and is not covered, and tell you what steps you should take next.
Next, you can often find claim forms on your insurer’s website, or your insurance company will then send you the forms you need to fill out to submit your claim. Fill these forms out as quickly as possible and return them to your insurance company.
Attend the insurance adjuster visit
An insurance adjuster will visit your home to assess damages and put together an estimate for the covered damages. During this visit, you can walk the adjuster through the damages to ensure nothing is overlooked.
How Are Home Insurance Claims Paid?
After the insurance adjuster is done evaluating the damages to your home, they will likely immediately tell you how much you should be reimbursed. Generally, you can accept this estimate on the spot to begin receiving settlement payments. In some cases, the first payment may be an advance before you receive your full settlement.
If you suffered damages to your home and personal property, you will likely receive separate payments for each.
If you are temporarily living somewhere else due to your home becoming uninhabitable, you may also receive a payment for additional living expenses.
How Long Does it Take to Receive Payment?
Timelines for home insurance claim payments vary from state to state. It can take anywhere from weeks to months to receive your settlement.
States often have requirements for insurance payouts. Often, insurance companies are required to pay settlements within a “reasonable amount of time.” Others have more specific timeframes for acknowledging and accepting claims.
Request a Home Insurance Quote
Home insurance offers essential protection for homeowners. When your home’s structure or your personal property is damaged following a covered incident, it’s important to file a claim as quickly as possible to receive the compensation you deserve and repair your home to its original state.
At FIB Insurance, our knowledgeable insurance agents work with homeowners in Miami, FL to help them find affordable home insurance policies that meet their financial and coverage needs.
Contact FIB Insurance today to get a custom quote and learn more about home insurance in Miami, FL.