What is the property damage insurance claims process?

If you need to file a property damage insurance claim, you should familiarize yourself with the claims process. The process may be specific to your insurance company, so check your home insurance policy or speak to a company representative if you have any questions. Most policies require that you assess the damage and file police reports when necessary before receiving payment. Most claims will be paid out in multiple installments, depending on the extent of the damage and the need for repairs.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: May 9, 2022

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What You Should Know

  • Property damage claims for homeowners insurance can be complicated
  • The first payment you receive from your home insurance is often not the final payment
  • The steps to file a property damage claim for personal and commercial property are very similar

If you need to make a property damage claim with your home insurance policy, you may want to familiarize yourself with the claims process before doing anything.

Most home insurance policies specify what the claims process will look like, but every company has the option to handle it differently. If you have questions about filing a claim with your home insurance policy, you can speak with a representative from your insurance company.

You may want to look into purchasing a home insurance policy with a new company. If that’s the case, be sure to shop around for coverage and compare quotes from multiple companies before you make a final decision. This will help you avoid paying too much for coverage.

You can use our free quote tool above to find and compare home insurance rates with top companies in your area today.

How do you make a home insurance claim?

Handling property damage claims with your insurance company will likely be a straightforward process. Since there are different types of property damage claims, you may have to file a claim in a specific way, depending on what was damaged.

Some of the most common property damage claims related to home insurance include:

  • Wind and hail damage
  • Fire damage
  • Water damage
  • Sinkhole damage
  • Hurricane damage
  • Theft damage
  • Tree damage
  • Flood damage

If your property has been damaged, you will want to file a claim based on one of the property damage claim types.

The typical steps involved in filing a property damage claim with your home insurance company include:

  1. File a police report (if necessary)
  2. Notify your insurance company of the damage
  3. Make any urgent repairs as soon as possible
  4. Document the claim, including any fees you paid out of pocket
  5. Keep in touch with your insurance company until you receive the full payment

Your insurance company may ask you to follow different steps to receive a home insurance payment for your claims. Make sure you ask a representative or agent if you have any questions about your policy and how to handle any outstanding claims or damages.

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Is there a claim time limit on property damage?

When filing property damage claims, every state’s laws are different. Depending on where you live, you may have anywhere from six months to three years to file a claim with your insurance company, citing the diminished value of your property.

The truth is, it’s best to file a property damage claim as soon as possible to make sure you get the money you deserve for repairs. Otherwise, you may end up paying for more than you need to.

When will I get paid by my home insurance company?

Once you file a claim, the time it takes to receive a payment for property repairs depends on your company. It’s important to remember that the initial check you get from your insurance company is often not the final payment.

The first installment you get from your insurance company is often an advance against the total settlement amount you will receive. So don’t stress if the initial payment is not enough to cover the extent of the damages.

Be sure to contact your home insurance company to inform them if you have not received payment or if you’re waiting on confirmation that your claim was accepted.

What is the claims process for commercial property damage?

If you need to file a commercial property claim, it’s a good idea to speak directly with your insurance company to ensure you follow the proper steps to receive the property payment.

Typically, the steps to filing a commercial property claim are as follows:

  1. Gather the proper evidence
  2. File a police report (if necessary)
  3. Contact your insurance agent to file a claim
  4. Work with your insurance company to assess the damage
  5. Gather estimates for all the required repairs
  6. Make sure repairs are complete
  7. Settle the claim with your insurance company

If your insurance company tells you to handle a commercial property claim differently than the steps listed above, be sure to follow their instructions. Otherwise, you may forfeit some or all of your claim checks.

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Should I file a property damage insurance claim?

You may be hesitant to file a property damage claim because of your insurance company’s low claims satisfaction or because you don’t want your home insurance rates to increase. However, the only time it doesn’t make sense to file a claim with your home insurance policy is if your claim will be less than your deductible amount.

Call your insurance company and speak with an agent if you are uncertain how to handle your claim. Don’t settle for little to no payment if you believe the company owes you based on your home insurance policy.

If you are shopping for a new home insurance policy, be sure to shop around for coverage from multiple companies. Compare quotes to find companies offering the best coverage for an affordable price.

Also, be sure to use our free quote tool below to find and compare rates for home insurance coverage in your area today.

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