does my Homeowners policy cover?
Most Homeowners policies pay for damage to the structure
and contents of your home by a covered peril. A covered peril is a
sudden and accidental event or a theft that causes damage or loss.
Covered perils may vary by policy type and company, so make sure your
policy covers the perils that are common to your area. A general homeowners
policy is not intended to cover situations that are too unpredictable
to insure against, such as flood and earthquake. Special policies
are usually available to insure against these uncovered perils.
Is your loss covered?
Is the loss you incurred covered under your policy? If
you are unsure as to whether your policy covers your loss, check your
policy or contact your agent. If the loss is not covered under your
policy, you do not have a claim. If the loss is covered, does the
loss exceed the amount of your deductible?
What is your deductible?
The deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay before
the insurance company will begin paying a claim. If you are unsure about
the amount of your deductible, check your policy or contact your insurance
How much damage or loss do you have?
If you have had damage to your property or possessions, how much would
it cost to fix the damage or replace the item. Use the form on the reverse
of this brochure to make a list of missing or damaged items and make a
written description of the damage to your home. This information will
assist the insurance adjuster when it is time to review your claim.
You may need to find a qualified professional to give you an estimate
on damage. You may need to do some shopping to find the best price to
replace personal possessions. In any case, you will want to determine
an estimate of the amount it would take to return your structure to the
condition that existed prior to the peril and replace items lost or damaged.
This amount would be your estimated claim amount.
Does the estimated amount exceed your
If the amount of your estimated claims is the same or less
than the amount of your deductible, you do not have a claim. Although
the insurance company will not pay you for your loss, your agent may be
of help in directing you to repair people or companies with reasonable
If the amount of your estimated claim is more than the amount of your
deductible, you have a claim. There is one more thing you should consider
before you make that claim: is the amount above the deductible sufficient
to make a claim worthwhile? If the estimated claim is $550 and you deductible
is $500, you may want to pay the extra $50 and not submit the claim. The
reason for this is that insurance is intended to cover major expenses.
An insurance company will consider a $50 claim the same as a $500 claim.
If you have multiple claims over a period of two or three years, you
may find that the amount of your deductible must be increased to accommodate
your change in risk classification. Depending on underwriting guidelines,
an insurance company may elect not to renew your policy if you have had
too many claims during a certain time period. None of us can afford to
pay out more than we take in.
My estimated claim exceeds my deductible,
I need to make a claim. What do I do now?
Report the damage to your insurance agent or insurance company.
The claim process will begin in one of two ways. Your insurance company
may send you a claim form to complete or an adjuster may visit your home.
An adjuster is a person professionally trained to assess damage. In either
case, the more information you have regarding damage to your home and/or
missing or damaged possession, the faster your claim can be settled.
I filed my claim. What do I do now?
After you have filed your claim forms and the insurance adjuster
has made an inspection of the damage, the insurance company will usually
respond to you in writing within a week. The insurance company may ask
for additional time in accepting or rejecting the claim, they may ask
for additional information, or they may offer you a settlement. Once you
and the insurance company agree on the terms of the settlement, any payment
will be sent promptly.
If you have questions regarding your coverage, making a claim, or settling
a claim, call your insurance agent or your insurance company.