After an incident, contact your insurance representative as quickly as possible. Follow these specific steps when making a home insurance claim to ensure you are able to collect easily and in short order.
There are any number of unfortunate reasons why you might have to make a property claim. Your home or condominium might have been destroyed by fire; a tree may have fallen on your garage during a severe windstorm; you might have been the victim of a burglary or vandals – in which case, contact the police directly!
Regardless of the incident, what you receive for your loss will depend entirely on the type of coverage you purchased. In addition to your claim for damaged or destroyed property, you may even be eligible for additional living expenses if you’re temporarily displaced.
Important Steps to Follow when Submitting a Property Claim
Call your insurance representative as soon as you can. Most providers have 24-hour claims service.
Details are so important! Provide as much information as possible about the circumstances and damage. Include photographs if it’s safe to do so.
Additional expenses. If your home is no longer fit to live in, be sure to ask your insurer about the expenses you may be entitled to, and the duration. After your loss, be sure to hold on to all receipts and invoices for additional living expenses.
A visit from claims specialist or adjuster. You will be contacted by a claims specialist or adjuster (paid by your insurance company) who will investigate the circumstance of the loss, examine documentation and explain the next steps. He or she also:
- Determines the facts related to the claim and the extent of what is covered by your insurance policy.
- Attempts to reach an agreement with any other people involved about the amount of their loss and extent of their responsibility.
Proof of Loss form. Your insurance company will ask you to complete and return a Proof of Loss form after the incident. This form lists the property and/or items that were damaged or lost, and their estimated value or cost. On the form, you will be asked to:
- Make a complete list of all damaged, destroyed or stolen items. Attach proofs of purchase, receipts, police reports, owner’s manuals, and warranty, if possible.
- Attach photos of damaged items. Keep damaged items unless they are dangerous or a health hazard. A current home inventory can help if you experience a loss.
- Sign and swear that the statements you make in the proof of loss are true.
- IMPORTANT: If any of the statements you make on the form are untrue, your insurance and claim may be voided.
Review your policy. Review and become familiar with specified deductibles, coverage limits and replacement values.
- If you make a claim, the amount you receive will depend on the type of coverage you bought.
- Insurance companies have three options for your damaged or stolen items:
- Your policy requires that you take all necessary steps to limit further damage.
Hiring contractor(s). Ask your insurance representative if you can hire a contractor or supplier of your choice. If so, discuss the costs. Make sure the contractor or supplier respects the price and specifications that you and your insurer have agreed upon.
Working Ventures Insurance is British Columbia’s top insurance broker with a specialty in group and union member insurance. If you are a union member in BC, we can get you the best rates on your insurance.