Claims Management After any incident, contact your insurance representative as soon as you can. Learn the 7 steps to making a home or condominium insurance claim, and how a claims management form works. There are many reasons why you may need to make a property claim. After a rainstorm, sewage could back up into your basement. Your home could be burglarized and vandalized. A fire could destroy your kitchen. Or an earthquake could damage your property. The amount you receive for your loss will depend on the type of coverage you bought. In addition to claiming for damaged or destroyed property, you may be eligible for additional living expense reimbursement, in certain circumstances, if you need to temporarily move elsewhere.If you are the victim of theft or vandalism, contact the police right away. 7 Things to Know About a Property ClaimCall your insurance representative as soon as possible. Most companies have 24-hour claims service.Details are critical. Provide as much information as possible about the circumstances and damage. Take photographs if it is safe to do so.If your home is unfit to live in, ask your insurer about the expenses you may be entitled to, and for how long. Keep all receipts and invoices for additional living expenses after your loss.A claims specialist or adjuster (who is paid by your insurance company) will contact you to investigate the circumstance of the loss, examine documentation and explain the next steps. He or she also:Determines the facts related to the claim and the extent of what is covered by your insurance policy.Attempts to reach an agreement with any other people involved about the amount of their loss and extent of their responsibility.Your insurance company will ask you to complete and return a proof of loss form after the incident. If any of the statements you make on the form are untrue, your insurance and claim may be voided. This form lists the property and/or items that were damaged or lost, and their estimated value or cost. On the form, you will be asked to:Make a complete list of all damaged, destroyed or stolen items. Attach proofs of purchase, receipts, police reports, owner’s manuals and warranty, if possible.Attach photos of damaged items. Keep damaged items unless they are dangerous or a health hazard. A current home inventory can help if you experience a loss.Sign and swear that the statements you make in the proof of loss are true.Review your policy and become familiar with specified deductibles, coverage limits and replacement values.If you make a claim, the amount you receive will depend on the type of coverage you bought.Insurance companies have three options for your damaged or stolen items:RepairReplaceReimburse.Your policy requires that you take all necessary steps to limit further damage. Ask your insurance representative if you can hire a contractor or supplier of your choice to do repairs. If so, discuss the costs. Make sure the contractor or supplier respects the price and specifications that you and your insurer agree on. Filing an Insurance ClaimSometimes life happens. If you’ve been in a collision or if your home has been burglarized or damaged in some way, you’ll want to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. Related ServicesProof of LossEach insurance company provides a form that is used to document damaged or destroyed items. Your insurer will request specific information from you in the event of a loss. Keeping receipts and a current home inventory can assist the claims process. Useful LinksEmergency PreparednessA fire, an earthquake, or a flood puts you and your family at risk. It’s important to have an emergency kit with 72 hours of supplies as well as an escape plan for your family.Buying Home InsuranceAs a homeowner, you need to insure your house for replacement costs so that in the event of serious damage or destruction you have adequate coverage. Be sure to keep your home insurance current by reporting material changes or upgrades.Home Inventory ApplicationA current inventory of your belongings makes it easier to file a claim. Keeping your records off-site is wise in case a fire or flood damages your property. Consider updating your home inventory each spring and advise your insurer of any major purchases.