If this is your first time filing an insurance claim for your home or contents, you probably have questions about how long the process will take.
You’ll want to know when the complex claims procedure will be done so you can resume your everyday life since filing a claim may be a stressful affair.
Luckily, our friends at Legal Grit, who are based out of Boca Raton, Orlando, and Jacksonville, FL, provided us with some helpful insight.
Sadly, no set period is required for a home insurance claim to be resolved. The duration will change from state to state, between insurance providers, and based on the overall scenario.
- Each state has regulations if there is a fixed time restriction for insurance companies to pay out on a home insurance claim.
- You can hasten the claims settlement procedure by giving your insurance company as many facts as possible and staying in touch.
- You can complain to your state’s insurance commissioner or seek legal advice if you don’t obtain your claim payment within the timeframe your state requires.
- After your insurance provider has approved your claim, you can anticipate receiving money anywhere between a few days to a few weeks later.
- Liability claims that are expensive or complex can take longer to process than more straightforward claims for property damage.
Even if your state doesn’t mandate that insurers investigate claims within a predetermined window following receipt—typically between 15 and 30 days—they still might if your state does.
Most states also have regulations governing when an insurance company must notify you if a claim has been approved or denied after receiving it, typically between 30 and 45 days.
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How to file a homeowners insurance claim
You can find the procedures for submitting a typical claim below. But keep in mind that depending on your specific circumstances, your claims procedure may fluctuate slightly.
Contact your insurance company
Unless your claim is a result of a crime like theft or vandalism, in which case you must first call the police, the first step in the claims procedure is to report the claim to your insurance provider. Your home insurance company will probably discuss if the claim is covered and how long you have to file the claim at this point.
Additionally, they can advise you on how long it might take to process the claim and whether it will go over your deductible.
Fill out the proper claims forms
Any claim forms that your insurance provides you should be filled out as completely as possible. Additionally, be sure to send them back right away to keep the claims process on track.
Have an insurance adjuster inspect the damage
Having a claims adjuster assess the damage and provide an amount to pay toward the cost of repairs is typically the next step. Have any receipts or other necessary documents on hand so that you are ready for their arrival. They’ll probably ask you a few questions about the type of damage if that’s the case.
Make temporary repairs
You must prevent additional damage from happening before adequate repairs can be completed. You can stop the damage from worsening and increase the expense of fixing the claim by covering a damaged roof with tarps or boarding up broken windows.
Make a list of damaged personal property
The better your property inventory, the more specific you may be. Knowing your things’ cost, exact model numbers and purchase dates are helpful. To make things even simpler, attempt to provide receipts wherever practical.
Get estimates for repairs
It can be easier to ensure that your insurance company supplies enough money to complete the necessary repairs by getting an estimate from a nearby contractor or appraiser.
Your mortgage lender may have input into how the repairs to your house are carried out. This implies that going the DIY route is not an option. The check you get from your insurer may mention your bank or lending organization. They wish to maintain the property’s condition. Depending on the amount of property damage coverage, they will give payouts for personal goods at either replacement cost or cash value.
Keep track of additional living expenses
Your home insurance policy’s additional living expenses cover costs like housing, food, and transportation if you cannot live in the house while repairs are being done. Keep an eye on your spending so that they can reimburse you fairly.
What to do to make a claim process faster
You can do a few things to smooth the process, but a lot of a claim depends on the insurance company following their prescribed protocols.
- File right away: Delaying the submission of a claim will not benefit you or the process. Most states also mandate that you submit a claim within 30 days of the damage. So, file as soon as you can.
- A follow-up Instead of waiting for the insurance provider to email you the necessary forms and documents, stay in touch with your adjuster and request them immediately.
- Maintain a chat log: Record the date, time, and details of any interactions with your adjuster.
- Convert receipts into copies: Make copies of any supporting documents or invoices for your claim.
- Respect deadlines: You’ll be questioned by the insurance company about various topics. Make sure to deliver it without delay.
- Photograph the damage: Take pictures and videos of any damage so you have a record of it later.
- Obtain price quotes from contractors: Get repair estimates from professionals as soon as you complete the damage assessment; the sooner, the better.
- Make urgent repairs: If you can do so to stop more damage from occurring, you should.
- Observe each inspection: Responding quickly to your claims adjuster and participating in damage inspections can help you stay informed about your claim.
Keeping up with your claims adjuster and your game can hasten your payment. The more straightforward the process of filing your claim, the more prepared and timely you are.
Home insurance aims to shield you from unforeseen financial costs that you might not be able to cover otherwise. However, the time it takes to process your claim can range from a few days to several months. Everything will rely on various elements, like the property’s size, the damage’s kind and severity, the number of parties involved, the accessibility of contractors, and the insurance requirements in your state.