Tips on How to File an Insurance Claim
If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in filing a claim. Well, you can stop your google searches and sit back because we have you covered.
Half of the stress when going to file a claim is the unknown of what to expect during the claims and repair process. But don’t worry, we can help. At Platt Insurance, we’ve helped hundreds of people like you navigate the claims process seamlessly, and if you have a claim yourself, we want to help you as well.
So, here’s what you need to know….
First thing’s first- do what you can to prevent further damage.
Make sure you and your family are safe and clean up the best you can to stop any further damage. Be sure to save any receipts and invoices and take pictures of the initial damage so you can submit them later as part of the claim.
Now that everything is under control, to the best of your ability, you can move on to gathering information.
Take detailed notes of what happened, what was damaged, and if anyone was involved. Take multiple photos of all damage (from a few different angles if possible.) If your home is burglarized, you’ll also need to file a police report. This is a very important step, as this is the information the insurance company will need to determine your loss.
Once you have gathered the information, call your insurance agent and decide whether or not you want to file a claim.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “Of course I want to file a claim. That’s why I pay for home insurance”! And trust me, we get it! But there are few things to consider before you file the claim:
What is your deductible? Let’s say your deductible is $1,000 and the damage costs less than that, it doesn’t make sense to file the claim.
The damage may be caused by something not covered by home insurance. In this case, you shouldn’t file a claim. Examples could be a flood, wear and tear, or damage by pests.
If you’re planning on filing a claim, your agent will connect you with the insurance company to file your claim. We prefer that our clients file claims on their own because it provides for the most accurate information and a seamless process.
The next step is to work with a claims adjuster.
Claims adjusters work on behalf of the insurance company and oversee the entire process. They will assess the damage, confirm that all the details you reported are correct, and determine if the loss is covered by your policy. Depending on the type of damage, they may or may not come to your house.
After the adjuster evaluates your damage, you should set up some appointments with contractors to get estimates. If you have accurate estimates of the damage, you may be able to use them to negotiate your claims settlement amount if your insurance company doesn’t offer to pay enough.
Once your claim is approved and you and the adjuster have agreed to the payout amount, the insurance company will send you a check for that amount. The pay out period is different depending on the claim and insurance company. Some claims may take a few weeks and others can take almost a month to pay out.
One important thing to know is that you may not receive all the settlement money at one time. First, your adjuster will cut a check for the actual cash value of the damaged items. This is the value of the actual items that were damaged. You will use this check to repair or replace the damaged items. Once you do the work to repair or replace the items, your insurance company will send you a check for the remaining replacement cost.
If at any point during the claims process you run into a roadblock or have any questions, reach out to our agency and we’ll do everything in our power to make the process as stress free as possible.