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How to make a claim

Contact your agent or insurance company and provide them with the following:

  • A complete description of the damage
  • A phone number where you can be reached

Your agent or company representative will report the loss immediately to your insurance company or to a qualified adjuster who will call you as soon as possible to inspect the damage.

In the meantime...

  1. Protect your home from further damage. Make whatever temporary repairs you can, such as covering broken windows and holes in the roof or in walls. Keep your receipts because your insurance company will reimburse you for reasonable expenses you incur by making temporary repairs to property damaged by covered perils.
  2. Do what you can to salvage and protect damaged building equipment.
  3. If you can, secure a detailed estimate for permanent repairs from a reliable contractor and give it to the adjuster. The estimate should contain detailed specifications of the proposed repairs and detailed repair costs and replacement prices.
  4. Prepare a detailed inventory, including photographs, of all damaged or destroyed personal property. Provide one copy to the adjuster and keep a copy for your records. Your list should be as complete as you can make it and should include: number and description of the item, date of purchase or approximate age, cost at the time of purchase and estimated replacement cost today. It is very helpful to provide canceled checks, invoices, receipts, or other papers that will assist the adjuster in obtaining the value of the destroyed property.
  5. Don't get permanent repairs done until after the adjuster has approved the price. If you've received bids, show them to the adjuster. If the bids are too high, ask the adjuster to negotiate a better price with the contractor you would like to hire.
  6. Don't throw out damaged furniture and other expensive items as the adjuster will want to see them.
  7. Obtain repair estimates for furniture or other personal property that can be repaired economically.
If you must leave your home, be sure it is secured and protected from further damage. Let others know where you can be reached.

In conclusion ...

After your claim has been settled and the repair work is underway, take some time to evaluate your homeowners insurance coverage. Talk with your insurance agent or company about possible changes.

If you have questions regarding your coverage, making a claim or settling a claim, call your insurance agent or your company. To request a free brochure, Settling Insurance Claims After A Disaster, order it online through NW Insurance Council's Brochure Catalog.