How do I file a renters insurance claim?

Published April 21, 2015

Here are the general stages of filing a claim.

  1. Immediately take necessary steps to prevent further damage or loss of use.You may run into problems with your claim if the insurer determines that the damage was due to some long-standing issue that could have been repaired sooner.

  2. Contact your insurer. Call your insurer and explain your situation. An agent will send you one or more forms to fill out and give you further instructions.

  3. Provide necessary documentation to support your claim. In addition to any paperwork you have to fill out, you'll be asked to provide an inventory report. Other required documents might include a police report or repair estimate depending on the claim. The insurer might also send an adjustor to your home to determine the full scope of the damage. If your claim includes special high-value items (such as jewelry), your agent may also ask for appraisal reports or receipts, so be sure to keep them stored with your inventory list.

  4. Insurer reviews and pays claim. Once the insurer has all of the necessary documentation, your claim will be reviewed and, if everything is in order, approved, and payment will be issued immediately, minus your deductible. If for some reason your claim is denied and you disagree with the decision, ask for the reason for the denial, then contact the Department of Financial Services for your state and file a complaint.

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