What Should I Do During a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim?
Your insurance agent and accredited claims adjuster will be your best friends and will help you understand the process and answer questions about your claim from filing to resolution.
Homeowners insurance claims are often complicated and time consuming, so it helps to have an experienced agent and an accredited insurance claims adjuster working for you.
We’ve covered it previously, but we must reiterate, the first step in making a claim is to contact your insurer and/or your agent as soon as possible after the loss occurs. If you don’t already have an 800 number to call to initiate the claims process, start with your agent. Then, make sure you save this number into your phone.
The person who answers the call in the claims department will ask for information about the damage such as what happened, when it happened, how it happened and other similar questions. If you don’t know the answer but can look it up, let the person know. While it is helpful to know as much as possible before you call, it’s ok if you don’t know everything because your insurance company will likely send someone to inspect the property.
After the initial report has been filed, the claims department will assign a representative to handle your case, which is usually the accredited claims adjuster. This representative will work with you and your insurer to determine what repairs need to be made and how much money you should receive. The representative is just one of several you will speak with during your claim process. It helps to make a list of who’s who and their phone numbers.
While on the phone with the claims department ask if you need to perform any cleaning or organizing before the accredited claims adjuster arrives for an inspection, other than preventing further damage. You will also want to ask the assigned accredited claims adjuster when they call to schedule an appointment if there is anything you should do prior to their arrival. This may seem redundant but because you will be working with many people, redundancies will save time down the road.
In the event the loss is due to a fire, you may have to leave everything exactly as you found it. Often, your local fire department may also conduct an investigation. In this case, you won’t be able to do much before the fire department has determined what caused the fire. This could include cleaning up debris, removing smoke residue and restoring electrical outlets and other fixtures. You will also need to make sure that the home is safe and you aren’t delaying the process because you cleaned up too quickly.
Only after your accredited claims adjustor has completed their estimate of the damage and any other local authorities have completed the damage report, should you start repairing the damage.
Regardless of the type of loss, start keeping track of receipts and lists of damaged items. If you have before photos or a video, that will be extremely helpful for your accredited claims adjuster to review.
If you haven’t heard from your insurance company or more than 10 business days have passed since the accredited claims adjuster visit, you should follow up with the claims department. Even if you have heard from your insurance company, you should still put efforts into place to make sure your claim is moving forward.
If there are any issues with the repair estimate, ask for an explanation. Make sure you keep copies of all correspondence between you and the claims department, you and the accredited claims adjuster and you and your insurance agent.
How can you help others recover from unexpected events?
At Educational Services & Consulting we offer the 6-20 accredited claims adjuster designation and final exam. Once individuals pass our exam, they can apply to the state for their all lines adjuster license. This will enable candidates to work on home insurance claims, auto and RV insurance claims and property insurance claims. They would have the flexibility to work as a staff claims adjuster or an independent insurance adjuster.
For more information on how to earn your 6-20 ACA designation, we invite you to call our Clermont, Florida office at 1-800-309-2459 or read more about the accredited claims adjuster certification process on our website.