Understanding your homeowners insurance claim
We get it... insurance can be complicated! Check out this blog for answers to nine of the most frequently asked questions regarding homeowners insurance claims.
At Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance, we’re built to expect the unexpected. We have adjusters throughout Kentucky, so, when you file a claim, you can expect it to be handled quickly and efficiently by a local claims office. Although each insurance claim is unique, the following answers to a few of these frequently asked insurance claim questions can be helpful in the event of property damage or loss.
1. What should I do immediately following property damage/loss? Look for potential safety risks.
- Take reasonable steps to prevent further damage.
- If the loss was caused by theft, notify the police.
- Make a written list of what was damaged, destroyed or stolen (write down any info you can remember about the property).
- If a credit card has been stolen, notify the issuing financial institution immediately.
- Keep an accurate record of repair expenditures.
- Separate items that can be cleaned or repaired.
- Check with your claims representative before discarding any items you plan to claim as damaged.
- Review your policy for specific coverage information.
2. What is a deductible?
A deductible is the dollar amount of the claim you are responsible to pay. If you have a $500 deductible, generally you will be responsible for the first $500 of any claim for your property that you file and then Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance will pay the remainder. You choose the deductible on your policy when you purchase insurance. A higher deductible lowers the price of your premium.
3. Should I file a claim if my damage is less than my deductible?
Filing a claim may help you if other related damages are discovered at a later date. There is no requirement for you to submit a claim if the known damages are less than your deductible.
4. My home is uninhabitable. Will you cover a hotel stay?
If your policy has additional living expenses coverage and a direct physical loss makes your home uninhabitable, then we will pay for the reasonable increase in living expenses necessary to maintain your normal standard of living. Check your policy for coverage and limits. Keep receipts for additional living expenses you pay out of pocket. A claim representative or your local Farm Bureau agent can answer questions about this coverage.
5. Should I start making repairs before you inspect the damage?
We know you're eager to start putting your business back together, but it’s best to wait until our claims professional has conducted our first on-site inspection. The only thing you should do is protect your property from further damage – cover broken windows and gaps in the roof or exterior walls. By waiting, we’ll be able to identify all of the damages that may be covered by your policy, ensuring you receive everything you’re entitled to.
6. Can I choose the contractor who repairs my property?
Yes. We advise you seek out contractors with a proven reputation and track record in your area. To help ensure you choose a reliable contractor, we suggest the following steps:
- Get recommendations from friends, relatives, and business associates.
- Get references from contractors you interview and check those references.
- Contact your local Better Business Bureau office or website for information on contractors you’re considering.
- Don’t sign a contract until you’ve reviewed it carefully and have agreed to payment terms.
- Make sure the contractor has been doing business in your area for some time. Large storms often lure out-of-state contractors to Kentucky who may be “here today, gone tomorrow."
7. Do I need to file a police report for property damage or loss due to theft?
Yes. Your policy requires you to file a report with the appropriate authorities.
8. What do I need to show proof of ownership for stolen property?
All of the following can help in showing proof of ownership for stolen property: receipts, owner’s manuals, product packaging, appraisals, photos, and videos. In addition, we recommend recording each room of your home with a video camera and keeping the information in a fireproof safe or safe deposit box.
9. How do I check the status of a claim?
To check the status of your claim, please call your adjuster or the Regional Claim Office nearest you.
It’s important to remember that each individual insurance claim is unique. You may find these tips helpful in the event of a loss, but it’s always best to talk with your Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance agent concerning your unique situation, including policy coverages and availability.
At Kentucky Farm Bureau, we’re just as invested in your home sweet home as you are. We help protect what’s important to you – from farms and fishing boats to minivans and mobile homes. To see a full list of products we insure, click here.