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  • Kyle Staggs

How to Report an Insurance Claim

Updated: Mar 11

man using a computer at home

Reporting an inurance claim is a relatively short and straightforward process. Policies require that the homeowner give prompt notice to the insurance company after a loss occurs. When you report a claim, the insurance company will want the answers to the following questions. 


  1. What is damaged at the property? For there to be a claim, something must have been damaged (the roof, floors, ceiling, etc.). 

  2. What caused the damage? Not all causes of loss are covered under every policy. 

  3. When did the loss occur? A claim must be reported promptly. If the loss continues to cause damage for a prolonged period, recovery may be limited or eliminated altogether. 

  

When homeowners report claims, the main problem I observe is homeowners speculating or providing inaccurate information (intentionally or accidentally) when answering the adjuster's questions. An insurance company is looking for reasons to deny or limit payment on every claim from the moment the claim is reported. For example, I had a client whose refrigerator was leaking. She reported the claim herself and said her kitchen had "flooded." The insurance company denied her claim because "flood" is not covered under the policy. However, what happened at my client's property should not have been considered a flood claim. A flood is specifically rising water from the outside. My client had a valid discharge of water claim expressly covered under the policy.  


When reporting a claim, only relay factual information. Don't speculate or editorialize when reporting a claim. It is not required for the person reporting the claim to have all of the answers. Saying "I don't know" may be the best answer. The insurance company should investigate the loss and determine the cause and extent of damages.   


Many homeowners prefer to allow an attorney to report the claim so they can make sure the claims handling process starts off correctly. Providing the insurance company accurate information upfront minimizes the chance of delays. If the homeowner disagrees with the insurance company's opinions on the cause of the loss or the price and scope of the repairs, we can assist in hiring the necessary professionals to refute the coverage decision. 



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