Have you wondered how to file a claim with your homeowners insurance? For millions of Americans each year, insurance claims are a critical way to recover the costs of unexpected theft or damage to their homes. Yet, the process itself seems to be a mystery! Here at Florida Best Quote, we will be breaking down the exact process of determining eligibility, filing a claim, what to expect afterward, and the impact it may have on your future insurability.
What Is an Insurance Claim?
An insurance claim is a formal request of your insurance company to help you pay for repairs and other expenses associated with damages caused by a covered event as outlined in your policy
What happens when I need to make a claim?
The most common forms of homeowners’ insurance damage claims are water-related. Here is an example of the step by step process of how to file a claim with your homeowners insurance for roof damage:
- The first point of action should always be to mitigate a situation as best as possible to prevent further damage.
- Take a detailed account of what occurred including pictures and receipts for all costs incurred, including costs to prevent further damage (tarp to cover roof)
- CALL US before contacting your insurance carrier. Did you know Florida Best Quote has a dedicated claims specialist with over a decade of experience! We will help you weigh the pros and cons of making a claim, assist in determining if the loss is a covered peril, and will help you determine if filing a claim is the beneficial next step for you and your situation. Keep in mind your deductible is a key player in this and it may not always be beneficial for you to file a claim given that you have to meet that deductible before the carrier will even payout.
- After speaking with the claims expert at Florida Best Quote, contact your insurance provider, explain what happened and an insurance adjuster will be assigned to your case to assess damages and repair costs
- Your adjuster will make an assessment to determine costs, and whether your damages are covered.
I’ve made a claim, now what?
Once you have made a claim to your insurance company and your adjuster has confirmed repair costs and eligibility, funds will be distributed to you. Often, insurance companies will also provide a list of local contractors.
Say in the above example, funds are distributed to you to get your roof repaired. You will then be able to shop for local roof contractors and roofing companies to find the one that suits your needs best. Once the repair is complete, you will be required to provide proof of repairs to your insurance company.
Be sure to keep a detailed record of all receipts and paperwork related to the repair. You can even send us your proof as you receive it, and we will keep it on file for you whenever your insurance company requests it!
Can an insurance company drop you for filing a claim?
When it comes to homeowner’s insurance, there are some rules of thumb that we know will protect you the most while still giving the full benefit that insurance has to offer. This is why it is so important for our clients to give us a call before reaching out to the insurance provider.
There are laws in place that protect you as an insured from being dropped simply for filing a claim. However, the insurance carrier does have a right to non-renew or cancel your policy if you are no longer eligible based on their underwriting guidelines. How that comes into play with claims is if you do not provide proof of repairs. Once you file a claim you alert the carrier to existing damage, which is an eligibility issue for all carriers, this is why it’s important to get your repair documents into Florida Best Quote as you receive them.
Another eligibility issue is the number of claims filed within the last 3-5 years, if you have filed more than one claim in this timeframe it is possible your policy could be nonrenewed due to claims activity no longer meeting eligibility guidelines.
Can your insurance company raise your premium for filing a claim?
Your rate cannot be increased simply because you filed a claim, however losing claims-free discounts or having claim surcharges added to your policy can increase your premium. Also, if you file more than one claim and are nonrenewed by the carrier, you may find that rates, when you shop for new insurance, are coming in much higher due to the claims activity. Therefore, it is always important to consult with our claims specialist prior to filing a claim.
For more information on how to file a claim with your homeowners insurance, the pros and cons of filing a claim, or even getting a quote, don’t hesitate to contact us.