Filing A Homeowners Claim

A homeowners insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company. You should understand the policy before a loss occurs. Review your policy with your insurance representative so you'll know what's covered.


  • Report any burglary or theft to police.
  • Phone your agent or company immediately. (Insurance policies place a time limit on filing claims.) 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?
  • Make temporary repairs and take other steps to protect your property from further damage. Save receipts for what you spend and submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement.
  • Prepare a list of lost or damaged articles.
  • Save receipts from any additional living expenses you incur if your home is so severely damaged that you have to find other accommodations while repairs are being made. Most homeowners insurance policies include a provision for reimbursement of these expenses.
  • 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. (The time period varies from state to state.) Return the properly filled out forms as soon as possible.
  • Have an adjuster inspect the damage to your home. Your insurance company will probably arrange for the adjuster.


After your claim has been settled, take time to re-evaluate your homeowners insurance coverage to make sure you have adequate protection.