Simple tips for filing a renter’s insurance claim
We wish you a happy spring, one that will flood your home with sun and flowers. However, in the event that this season or any other season you will need to file a claim on your renter’s insurance policy for a loss or accident in your home, we’re presenting you with the steps you need to take. Being well-prepared in case you have to file a claim will make the whole process go much more smoothly, and ensure that you receive the full compensation due to you.
First and foremost, make sure that you fully understand the terms of your renter’s insurance policy, more precisely what is and what isn’t covered. Knowing this in advance will spare you the trouble of going through the claims process only to discover that your policy doesn’t cover your loss.
Take an inventory of all your belongings with the estimated value of each. Technology today favors thorough inventories through some great apps. Remember to keep in a safe place the documentation of the appraised value of that something particularly expensive you own. The cloud seems the safest location right now as it can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, and not much can happen to it that would restrict your access to it.
If you suffer property loss due to fire, water damage, burglary or other cause your response is to file a renter’s insurance claim:
- Be safe; call the proper authorities – fire department, ambulance, or police, right away. In case of a theft, get a copy of the police report;
- Note down important details such as the time and date of the incident that led to your loss. Record and document all missing and damaged items and when appropriate, take pictures/video;
- Do anything you can to minimize further damage – if a window is broken, cover it with plastic to prevent water damage;
- Call your insurance company or agent and give detailed information about the incident and its results;
- The insurance company/agent will provide you with claim forms; complete them with the information you recorded earlier and attach all required documentation.
- The insurance company/agent will send a claims adjuster to your home for inspection and to assess the extent of the damage and implicitly your loss. In many cases the adjuster may cut you a check on the spot.
If the damage to your home makes it uninhabitable, and you must pay for an alternative solution until your place is fixed, save all receipts for lodging during the time you were unable to live in your home. Depending on your policy terms, the insurance company may reimburse those costs.