YES! Be sure to keep your important documents such as passports, social insurance #’s, birth certificates, life insurance policies, and a little bit of cash in a fire safe near an exit. It is also recommended to take an inventory from time to time of the contents in your home. If you can include when you purchased the items and how much you paid for them, even better. A good idea would be to walk around your home taking a video as you go…keep that video in your fire safe.
Once your claim is reported to the insurance company, you will be contacted by the claims adjuster assigned to your file. In some cases the adjuster will want to meet with you in person; in other cases the entire claim will be handled over the telephone. To support your claim, you may also be required to complete a claim form, also known as a Proof of Loss form (a sworn statement in support of your claim). Your claims adjuster will determine the extent to which the claim is covered by your insurance policy, explain the coverage’s provided by your policy, and help guide you through the entire claims process.
If you have any questions or if there is something about your policy or claim that you don’t understand, ask your claims adjuster or broker for clarification.
For Home insurance, maybe not during your initial phone call, but as the claims process continues, any receipts, warranties, manuals, photos or valuation certificates of the expensive items covered by your insurance policy might be requested.
Alternatively if you are claiming for something that involves the repair of your home, vehicle, etc., it is normal for insurance providers to ask for two estimates (unless they use their own contractors) so that they can compare them both. Your insurance provider will also likely be able to provide a reference list of approved businesses who you can contact for quotes on the repair.
Lastly, if a burglary or some kind of criminal activity has taken place, then you will be required to call the police and inform them of what has happened. The police may either provide you with a report or incident number to provide to your insurance company.
For an auto insurance claim, you will have to pay your deductible if you are deemed to be at fault or if it is a single vehicle accident. Your deductibles can be found on your policy.
For a home insurance claim, in most cases you will have to contribute part of the cost of your claim…your deductible. The amount will vary depending on the agreed upon deductible in your home insurance policy and you will be informed of the amount that you are required to pay before the claim is paid.
If a claim crosses over both your home and auto policies ie: your vehicle is stolen and you had your golf clubs in the trunk, you may only be required to pay one deductible if you have both policies with the same insurance company.
Your monthly premium may increase, if you make a claim. There are a lot of factors that go into this and differ depending on if it is Home or Auto insurance. A lot of insurance companies offer premium protection. Please contact your broker, who will be able to advise you more precisely.
Times will vary depending on the severity and complexity of your claim and the subsequent repairs and replacements required to correct your loss. Everyone’s goal is to get you back to normal as soon as possible but without jeopardizing the quality and your satisfaction with the repairs.