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Kitchen on fireMost property owners don’t think about their home insurance until they need to file a claim. Home insurance provides financial compensation to homeowners for some types of losses. Your insurance policy outlines what specific coverage you have. 

If you need to file a claim or request that the insurance company pay for your losses, there are several steps to work through to receive funds.

#1: Make sure you’re safe. Report the incident.

If there is any danger to you or your family, address that concern first. Get someplace safe. Call the police. Don’t worry about your home. Take care of yourself first. 

Once you are safe, and the immediate risk passes, call the police to file a report. Do this for any crime such as theft or vandalism. If there is a fire or other peril, call the proper authorities like the fire department.

#2: Call your insurance agent.

Don’t clean up or move belongings. Don’t make repairs to your home. Instead, call your agent to report what occurred.

He or she may ask you to take pictures of the damage for a claim, especially if the agent cannot get to you soon enough. That way, your agent will know exactly what happened. He or she will also know that you did nothing to increase the damages.

Ask questions:

  • Do you have coverage for this loss?
  • How much is the deductible on your policy?
  • How long will it take for the agent to come to your home?
  • Do you need to obtain estimates for the repairs?
  • What can the insurance agent offer to help you pay for rental costs if you cannot remain in your home?

#3: Follow your agent’s directions.

This may include making temporary repairs. However, only do so if your agent tells you. This will be to ensure your safety and to minimize further damage. Don’t clean up or remove debris unless your agent tells you to do so. 

Be sure that you obtain a copy of the report the insurance adjuster provides after the inspection. Make sure to take your own video or photos of the incident and damage.

#4: Create a list of your belongings or losses.

Having an inventory of your home can help with this step. Your goal is to write down anything you lost during the incident. 

List all of your home furnishings, personal property, collectibles, and other items. Be as thorough as possible.

#5: Meet with your adjuster.

The formal claims process requires documentation. You'll likely have to do paperwork. You’ll then need to wait for the adjuster to determine the proper compensation owed to you. 

Most of the time, claims processing is fast. This ensures you do not have to wait long to begin rebuilding.

Home insurance is there to help you. If you are the victim of a fire, theft, vandalism or other risks, call your agent for help. We are here to help you. Call the Floss Agency today at (716) 688-5115 to report a claim. You can also visit our website to report claims and learn more about Buffalo home insurance.

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Securities and advisory services offered by Cadaret Grant & Co., Inc.  |  Member FINRA/SIPC 9092 Main Street, Clarence, NY 14031 716-631-0190  |  Licensed in New York, California, Florida, Texas & Tennessee. | Floss Agency and Cadaret Grant are separate entities.