Per the Insurance Information Institute (III), property damage is the main leading cause of homeowners insurance claims in the U.S. Some of the most common causes of property damage include fire, hurricanes, floods, vandalism, and winter damage. If you encounter any of such perils in your rented home, you need to file a renters’ insurance claim correctly. This is because the insurance provider can deny your claim if you make mistakes during the claims process, such as missing deadlines. Here are four tips to help you file your renters’ insurance claim correctly.
Inform Your Landlord
Although informing your landlord isn’t always necessary to file a renters’ insurance claim, you should inform your landlord of damage to your rented dwelling, especially if the damage resulted from his/her negligence or if it involves the building. For example, water damage can occur in your rented house due to poor drainage, which is entirely the landlord’s responsibility. Certain types of damage could also be covered by the landlord’s insurance policy. In the case of damage resulting from criminal activity, such as arson or burglary, you should also contact the police and file a report documenting the damage.
Collect Evidence, Including Your Home Inventory
To avoid paying fraudulent claims, insurance companies typically conduct thorough investigations before accepting claims, as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). This means that the evidence you collect from the damage can be important when filing a renters’ insurance claim. For example, you should not throw away damaged items or change anything at the scene until the insurance adjuster conducts his/her inspection. Instead, collect all of the evidence you can identify. Also, maintain a home inventory, i.e., an up-to-date list of all items in your home, their location, and their value. Make sure to keep your home inventory in a safe, accessible place, as it can help provide proof of ownership of damaged items. The insurance company can even deny your claim if you do not present a valid home inventory of your items.
Notify the Insurance Company
Once the police have prepared their report, if necessary, and you’ve gathered available evidence, inform your insurance company. However, make sure that you don’t take too long to inform your insurer, as a significant delay may provide a basis for the insurance company to deny your renters’ insurance claim. You should also inform your insurer whether the damage was the landlord’s fault as this will help lower your costs of repairs and your insurance premiums, says the National Apartment Association (NAA).
File the Renters’ Insurance Claim
When you notify your insurance provider, they will most likely send an adjuster to come and investigate the situation. The adjuster may require you to answer some questions and fill out some forms to file a claim. Depending on your provider, you may be able to file the claim forms online before the investigation commences. To prevent the denial of your renters’ insurance claim, make sure that your information is accurate, says the International Risk Management Institute (IRMI).
Following the above tips will ensure that you file your renters’ insurance claims correctly. If you’re shopping for renters’ insurance coverage, find quality insurance by contacting the team at Mayer Insurance today. We serve Apple Valley and neighboring cities in Minnesota with quality coverage.