What to Do When You Have a Property Insurance Claim

Here we are talking about homeowners’ property claims and business property claims.

The property insurance claims process is always a negotiation. Listen more than you talk. Ask questions when you don’t understand. Have an expert on your side.

Document everything that happens with your insurance claim. If you speak with someone on the phone about your claim, write down the date and time of your conversation as well as the name of the claim adjuster you spoke with. Take great notes.

Confirm instructions in writing. Email is a great way to document the actions you take in a claim. “Adjuster Smith, Thanks for speaking with me. To confirm today’s conversation… You are going to look into a list of contractors who can fix our roof. I am to gather price info on the electronic equipment that was destroyed. As you suggested, I will be holding all receipt for our hotel stay and the meals we eat.”

Keep your insurance agent involved in your claim. While the agent doesn’t need to be involved in every step, make sure they understand how things are going. Ask for help from your agent if things don’t seem to be going well.
Under most policies the insurance company will insist that you attempt to repair or clean property. Modern cleaning techniques are pretty good at removing the smoke smell from clothing and furniture. Work with the adjuster but stand your ground if the cleaning is inadequate. This is another place your agent can help.