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How do I file a home insurance claim?

Posted by Royal Sundaram on 12 Feb 2010

If an earthquake or violent storm or a household fire destroys your home, you are eligible to make a claim with your home insurance company. A home insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company. Read your insurance policy carefully to understand how to make a claim.

Phone your company immediately – Insurance policies place a time limit on filing claims. Find out what the time limit is. Ask questions: Am I covered? Does my claim exceed my deductible? (Your deductible is the amount of loss you agree to pay yourself when you buy a policy.) How long will it take to process my claim? Will I need to obtain estimates for repairs to structural damage?

Prepare a list of lost or damaged articles – You are going to need to substantiate your loss. Avoid throwing out damaged items until the surveyor has visited your home. You should also consider photographing or videotaping the damage, if possible.

Take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage. Save receipts for what you spend and submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement.

Get claim forms – Once your insurance company has been notified of your claim, the company is required to send you the necessary claim forms to you by the end of a specified time period. Return the properly filled out forms as soon as possible in order to avoid delays.

Your insurance company will immediately arrange for a surveyor to come and inspect your home. Co-operate with the surveyor, ensure that you provide him all the possible documentary evidence to ensure your claim gets settled without any hassle.

Once you and your insurance company agree on the terms of your settlement, your claim will be processed quickly.

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