Home Insurance Claims Process

Posted on Jul 19, 2019
Home Insurance Claims Process

Whenever you experience a disaster or emergency in your home, it can feel like your world is crashing down around you. After all, your home is your safe harbor. And, at the time of a disaster or home emergency, it‘s in a state of disarray at that moment — leaving you feeling adrift in the storm. 

While you may have insurance to protect your home, the home insurance claims process can be more than a little intimidating.  This is only one reason, albeit an important reason why it is so important to work with a local agency for your insurance needs. A faceless national organization may leave you on your own to manage the claims process.

A local insurance agency, like Otterstedt Insurance Agency, is there with you to walk you through the complexities of the claims process and answer questions that arise along the way.

Contacting Otterstedt Insurance Agency When You have a Claim to File

Otterstedt Insurance Agency has been serving the needs of area homeowners and businesses for 100 years now. As we move forward into the next 100 years, our focus continues to be on the people we serve and not the policies we write.

Contact us by visiting us on the web or calling 201-227-1800 today to get help filing your home insurance claim today and let us take the pain out of the process for you.

How Do Home Insurance Companies Pay Out Claims?

The insurance claims process is a process. There are three steps in the process.

  • Step 1: Report the “event” to your insurer. The technical term for this is “making a claim.” There may be some paperwork involved, but the bottom line is that you’re notifying your insurance company that an incident has occurred.
  • Step 2: The insurance company designates an adjustor to validate the claim and the extent of the damage. The adjuster, who may be an employee of your insurance company or a third party your company uses to adjust claims, makes the determination of how much the insurance company owes to satisfy the claim as the terms of your insurance policy dictate.
  • Step 3: The insurance company sends you the funds. In today’s digital world, they can do this by either depositing the funds directly into your account or sending a check in the mail for the amount, after your deductible and any holdback for depreciation are subtracted.

The adjustor takes factors like deductibles, depreciation, actual cash value, and other things into account when determining the amount insurance companies owe homeowners or renters in the aftermath of a home insurance claim.

The claims process for a home can be quite involved and complex, especially if the home was damaged but is not a total loss. There are many factors that go into evaluating the extent of the damage and the costs of repairs and replacements.

In some cases, you may receive an initial advance toward your claim (that will be deducted from the total awarded later), so you can begin making repairs to the home and clearing out the damage while getting estimates for repairs and such.

How Long Do Home Insurance Claims Take?

The length of time for the claims process varies widely according to many determining factors, such as:

  • The scope of the damage beyond your home. In instances where there is aerial flooding, hurricane damage, and tornados or wildfires that devastate communities, the claims process will take longer than for single-home or isolated incidents.
  • The extent of the damage to your home. Homes that have partial damage to the contents and the structure often require longer claims processes than those that are total losses.
  • The records you kept prior to the incident. Accurate records about contents, including receipts, appraisals, etc. help to speed the claims process up.

Finally, your diligence can make a huge difference.

When working with a local insurance agency that has your best interests in mind, it can be a much smoother process. When you’re a faceless voice on the other end of the phone to some national organization, though, the process can take longer if you aren’t persistent in your efforts to speed things up.

Does a Claim Affect Your Home Insurance?

Filing a claim may affect your home insurance policy.  The best course of action is to talk to an agent before and after a claim to make sure you are doing the right thing.

The challenge becomes to determine when it’s worth your while to absorb the risks and file the claim regardless of the potential increases in cost or cancelation of policies. If the claim is substantial, it is in the best interest of homeowners and renters to go ahead and file the claim to recoup their losses, but again, it’s best to speak with your insurance agent before filing.

Plus, you’re likely to find another insurance provider who will be willing to offer you insurance protection regardless of a single claim. The problem arises when you have numerous claims within a reasonable amount of time, such as 10 years.

While the insurance claims process may seem mysterious at first, when you make calling Otterstedt Insurance Agency your first priority, the entire process becomes practically painless.

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