Tips for a Stress-Free Claims Experience

Insurance is financial protection. You know what it is and why you have it. But do you know how it works when you need it? Knowing what to expect – before you need to file an insurance claim – will help to ensure that you’ll have a smooth, stress-free experience.

Frontline Insurance offers you these 5 claims-filing tips:

1. Have a copy of your homeowners insurance policy available.

Your insurance policy details coverage on the home itself, other buildings on the property (such as a stand-alone garage or shed) and the amount of protection you selected for what’s inside your home. When you file a claim, ask your agent to review the policy with you. You’ll want to have a clear understanding of what is covered and what is not.

2. Make sure the claims adjuster knows the best way to contact you.

Verify your home contact information and provide an alternate phone number, such as a cell phone number. If your home experienced significant damage, you may not be able to live there for a while. Claims adjusters need a way to keep in touch with you.

3. Prepare for the adjuster’s visit.

A claims adjuster is a trained and licensed professional who knows how to assess damage, and they need someone present onsite to point out all the areas of damage. That could be you or someone you designate, and an appointment will be made for this inspection.If personal possessions were damaged, your claims adjuster will need as much information about these items as you can provide. Ideally, you would already have a complete home inventory done well in advance of needing one. With an existing itemized list of household contents, including photos or videotape records, you have the documents needed and can simply hand copies to the adjuster. With a ready home inventory, you can start preparing a list of damaged or destroyed items. Describe each item, the approximate date it was purchased and what you think it would cost to replace or repair it. If you’ve kept receipts for major purchases, you’ll be glad you did, as they are very helpful to expediting your claim. Provide copies of receipts, and retain the originals for your own records.

4. Keep your mortgage company informed.

If you have a mortgage on your home, the check for home repairs will be made out to you and the mortgage company. Lenders require their name to be listed on the homeowners policy since they have a financial interest in your property. Verify that your policy reflects accurate and up-to-date information on your lender.Additionally, contact your mortgage company to see how they handle endorsement of the claims settlement check. Generally, lenders have you endorse it and send it to them. They then put the money in an escrow account to pay repairs or rebuilding as certain stages are completed. For example, you may be asked to show the mortgage lender a contractor’s bid for repair work so they know how much money is needed upfront to start the job.

Please remember that the comments contained in this blog are general in nature and that coverage under any specific policy of insurance will depend upon the terms and conditions of such policy.