Property Claims – Easy Ways to Know When To File


If you’re trying to decide whether or not to start the property damage insurance claims process when there’s damage to your home – keep these three questions in mind. 

Homeowner’s insurance exists to protect the actual structure of your home and the personal possessions in and around it. Several combinations exist to help cover the many risks of owning a home, helping to protect you from the unexpected. Losses due to fire, burglary, vandalism, water damage, and more are typically covered in your policy, assisting when it comes to repairs or item replacement. 

Sometimes it’s obvious to know you need to file a claim, like when a tree falls through your roof or there is irreparable damage from fires or flooding. But, what if there is an incident where you’re not sure whether to file a claim? Whether it be uncertainty about coverage extent or whether the damage is covered at all, it’s important to take some time to consider whether or not to file and begin the property damage insurance claims process. 

With the help of Travelers Insurance, here are 3 questions you should always consider when deciding if it’s time to file a claim: 

Is My Loss Covered Under My Policy?

Understanding what caused the damages to your home or belongings and whether that damage is covered is key to determining whether to file a property insurance claim. Statistics compiled by the Insurance Information Institute (III) show that wind and hail damage is the most common homeowners claim.

Your insurance policy sets forth what is covered and to what extent, so read your policy documents carefully. Once you understand how the damages were caused, you can explore if it might be covered under the policy. Some common causes of damage to your home, belongings, and property include wind, hail, theft, fire, vandalism, and water (burst pipe). Typically, flood, normal wear and tear, and earth movement are not covered by a standard homeowners policy.

What’s My Deductible?

Although you may have a covered loss, the cost of the damages may not exceed your deductible, so you may not want to file a claim. Minor damages, such as if a few roof shingles blew off in a windstorm, will often cost less to repair or replace than the total amount of your deductible. Generally, if you decide to file a claim that is paid, then your deductible will be subtracted from the amount of your covered loss.

Are There Special Policy Limits That May Apply to My Loss?

Payment for damage to certain types of property may have a special limit that applies to that type of property. For example, jewelry, comic books, collectibles, or other valuables, may be limited. These sub-limits could be less than the total amount of damage to that property. This is something to consider when thinking about whether to file a claim.

If You Decide to File a Claim

If you have decided to file a claim, you’ll want to notify your insurance company as promptly as possible. Getting the process started will allow your insurance company to help you faster. In the meantime, if you make temporary repairs, you should keep a copy of all receipts and provide them to your claim agent when the time comes.

If you’re reading through your policy and are confused about what’s covered, know that you’re probably not alone. “Am I covered for this?” is typically the number one question asked by customers. So if you are also struggling with this question, reach out to The Feltner Group today to get the answer. Not only will we provide a quick recap of your coverage, but we’ll also make recommendations if additional coverage is necessary and review the property damage insurance claims process with you.