Understanding the Home Claims Process
We understand your pain and are here to help you through each step of the claims process for your home damage. To better understand what to expect, we have compiled some helpful information to help you get through this process as easy as possible.
Here is some useful information about the claims process:
- If possible, make your first call to your insurance broker. We will review coverage, deductibles, impact on future pricing, and give an overview of what you should expect during the claim process.
- If you wish to file a claim, your broker will do so immediately with your Insurance Company.
- Questions? Conflict with your Insurance Company? Confusion? Your insurance broker is here to help. We will act as your advocate during the claim process.
- We work for you. We are here to support you. During the whole claims process, feel free to contact us for help and advice.
- After submitting your claim, an Adjuster assigned by your insurance company will contact you. They will outline what you can expect, timelines, repair options and contractors.
- The Adjuster takes the lead in the claim process from the insurance company perspective. They are your main point of contact throughout the claim (but your broker is always available to help
- The Adjuster (or Appraisor) will evaluate the extent of the damage and will work with you to determine repair costs.
- You will be provided with options for where to have your damages repaired.
- If you need to make temporary repairs to protect your home and items from further damage before your claims adjuster has been able to assess the damage, take photos and keep the receipts as proof. Any work completed before getting the approval from your insurance company may not necessarily be covered.
- Be prepared for the following assessments that the claims adjuster will review with you:
- Any additional Living Expense allowance that you need
- Your deductibles & whether you qualify for a waiver of deductibles
- Any debris removal requirements
- Any additional storage of recovered items
- If you have an after-hours emergency and need immediate help from a contractor, you have a few options:
- Contact your broker for recommendations and guidance on a contractor name. Our after-hours messaging can provide the information you will need, or more details can be found on our Claims Page.
- Contact your insurance company directly
- If you know a contractor, you have the option to contact them with the understanding that you could be responsible for any costs until it can be confirmed that you have coverage under your policy and you will be proceeding with making a claim.
- Once you move towards repairs, Insurance companies will have a network of preferred contractors available to look after your damages. The work done by a preferred contractor will be guaranteed by the companies. You have the option of choosing your own contractor but its important to be aware of any obligations when it comes to establishing the repair costs when using your own contractor. Your adjuster can walk you through this process.
- With Actual Cash Value, you will not be allowed to replace any lost items, but you will get a depreciated value for damages incurred.
- If your items are not obsolete or impossible to replace, then the Replacement Cost settlement, will provide you with half the amount to replace the item and the remainder once you have replaced the item. If you prefer not to replace the lost item then you can opt for the Actual Cash Value.
- You may need to pay the policy deductible before any repairs on your home start, if your deductible isn’t waived.
- After successfully going through the claims process with your insurance provider and providing all the required documents to your claims adjuster, they will issue a final settlement and a Proof of Loss document, outlining all the costs that are being reimbursed. Once you sign this document, they will release the final claims payment that all parties have agreed on.
- Insurance rates are often hard to predict and this depends on many factors which your broker can discuss with you, such as:
- Are you currently receiving a claims-free discount?
- Have you already had a claim within the past 5 years?
- Through all of this, remember we work for you, so please don’t hesitate to contact your assigned broker from our Rhodes & Williams team.
- After, your insurance company and the claims adjuster review all the documents provided, they will be able to issue a final claims settlement. You will be required to sign the proof of loss claims settlement document, which then allows the final claims payment to be made, at a time advised by your insurance company.
- Other information which may be of interest:
Remember, we at Rhodes and Williams work for you and are happy to assist you through each step.
Get more in-depth information on the claims payment process from the Insurance Information Institute