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What happens when you file a Home Insurance claim?

Home insurance is one of those things that everyone needs, but no one hopes to use. If you've experienced a serious property loss, such as a fire, water damage or theft, you know it can be stressful. As your Broker, it's our job to advise you in the claims process to help make the experience as painless as possible.

Once you've had a loss, the first step is to report the loss promptly to us. We'll ask you a few questions to better understand the events surrounding your loss and determine the severity of damage. If you have immediate needs, we'll

offer the appropriate assistance. It is your responsibility to do what you can to mitigate the loss. Simply put, this means you are expected to take immediate action for emergency repairs or tasks within your control, with resources available to you, to minimize further damage. Your insurance company will cover all reasonable expenses to prevent the loss from getting bigger.

As your Broker, we'll go over your coverage, your deductible and the impact the claim will have on your policy discounts or renewal terms. We will advise you on the prudence of making a claim, taking into account the severity of the claim, the nature of the claim and your previous claims experience.

To start the claims process, we will submit the initial information via a "Notice of Loss" with your insurer. An independent or company claims adjuster will then be assigned to your claim. The adjuster's role is to oversee the process of putting you back in the position you were in prior to the loss (of course subject to your policy terms and

conditions). The adjuster will investigate the cause of loss, confirm coverage and obtain estimates for professional services required under the claim. The adjuster will guide you through the paperwork and include you in the decision

process of who will do the work and what services will be performed.

At this point, a "Proof of Loss" will be presented for your signature. This legal form documents the loss as presented by you and states that the damages claimed are accurate. Once your insurer accepts the Proof of Loss, all work and services required under the claim will begin in a timely fashion (subject to the availability of products and services).

We're here to help. We know these can be stressful times. You can rely on our insurance knowledge and experience

to make the claim process as smooth as possible. It is important to keep the lines of communication open. If you have any questions, concerns or require clarification at any time during the claims process, contact us. We're committed to assisting you in any way we can.

Important Tip: Do not wait until after disaster strikes to wish you had prepared a home (or business) inventory. Invest 30 minutes and your smart phone to take a complete picture or video inventory of every part your home. Including closets and storage areas, open drawers, and even the garage and shed. In the event of a major loss you will be thankful you have this to rely on to help remember and reconstruct everything you have lost.

Talk to the RIBO licensed and bonded professionals at Insureplus by Guthrie Insurance today!