How To Make A Claim On Your Home Insurance

Most home insurance companies offer online or phone claims. To file a claim, visit your insurer’s website or call the number listed on your policy. Before alerting your agent, keep track of any evidence of the claim, such as property damage. Consider the cost of repairs and the potential reimbursement to determine if filing a home insurance claim makes financial sense.


making a home insurance claim in New Jersey

Most home insurance policies cover four types of risks:

  • It also covers any additional constructions like a garage and built-in appliances like a water heater.
  • Personal property insurance covers clothing, electronics, and kitchenware.
  • Liability insurance protects you if someone gets hurt on your property, such a dog bite.
  • ALE insurance pays temporary housing fees if you have to leave your home due to a covered claim.

These policies cover a wide range of risks that are listed on the policy’s declaration page. If, during a storm, a section of your roof caves in due to the weight of snow, you can file a claim with your homeowners insurance company.

Other potential threats include:

  • Theft and vandalism which are widespread crimes in the US
  • Fire and smoke
  • Thunderstorms
  • Hurricane damage
  • Falling objects
  • Explosions
  • Water damage (with exceptions)
  • Electrical surge damage.

Remember that any threats that are specifically excluded from your coverage may result in a denial. Standard homeowners insurance policies occasionally exclude regional flooding and earthquakes. A third-party insurer or an optional rider may be required instead.


Documenting the damage is the first step in filing a claim. After the accident, take photos of all damaged goods. You’ll need these photos to support your claim. Then contact your insurance agent to file a claim. Prepare your claim by having your policy number and a description of the harm ready.

Your agent can explain your coverage and recommend local repair companies. Most insurance providers accept online claims. You can also call the number on your policy. We recommend filing your claim as soon as possible to minimise the chances of it being denied. An insurance adjuster is frequently sent to assess the damage. This will determine if your insurance will pay the fees and how much you will be repaid.

If an adjuster concludes that you caused the water damage, they will advise the insurer to refuse your claim. If you can prove that the damage was not your fault, they will analyze the damage and reimburse you according to your policy’s conditions.

Remember that if your insurance policy has a deductible, you must pay it before your insurer would repay you. Also, the amount you will receive is determined by the type and limits of your policy.


Your homeowner’s insurance policy’s dwelling coverage would cover damage to your home’s structure. What constitutes a home varies depending on whether you live in a single-family home or a condominium.

However, most homeowner’s policies cover:

  • Walls, floors, and roof
  • The building’s base
  • Attached structures, such as a garage
  • Built-in appliances include water heaters and air conditioners.

It’s vital to file a home insurance claim carefully to avoid more damage. If you ignore a small leak, it may cause further damage. The insurance company will very certainly deny coverage if you file a claim because of your negligence.

Review your insurance and learn how the coverage amounts are established.

There are three types of coverage limits in home insurance policies:


This is the value of your home after depreciation. For example, a 10-year-old wooden floor ruined by a leak will not be covered by insurance. Instead, they’d refund the difference between the original floor price and the value lost over ten years. As a result, the ACV may not cover the full cost of reconstructing your house.

Replacement Cost (RCV)

Rebuilding your home at current labor and material expenses. So, if you file a claim within the policy’s limits, you only pay the deductible. You’re responsible for any claim that exceeds the policy’s restrictions. Moreover, prices for RCV insurance are higher than for ACV insurance.


Unlike the RCV, the GRC/ERC includes an insurance company pledge to cover a percentage of the cost of rebuilding your property above the policy limits. In the aftermath of a regional tragedy, labor and supply costs may be inflated due to strong demand. In this case, GRC coverage is the best option. It is, however, the most costly.


You’ll almost likely need to make two separate claims for reimbursement if your house insurance policy covers both your property and your personal things. Make a list of the damage and notify your insurer. If feasible, take photos of the damage and provide supporting documents such as invoices.

The damage to a few goods may be reimbursable by your insurance company. In the event of total loss, such as a house fire, you will likely receive a lump-sum payment equal to the policy’s value. In either case, taking a thorough inventory of your possessions before a disaster will speed up the claims process and reduce insurance fraud.

Check your policy to see if expensive objects like jewelry or artwork are covered. If you don’t buy an optional rider to expand your coverage, you’re usually limited to a coverage limit of roughly $2,000 in most circumstances. Also, your home insurance coverage does not cover vehicle damage. Instead, if your automobile is destroyed while parked at home, you would file a comprehensive claim with your car insurance.


If your home is broken into, your claim will be covered by your personal property insurance, and the process will be the same. Because your claim involves a crime, your home insurance company will ask for a police report.

Report any damage or stolen items to the cops as soon as you suspect a theft has occurred. Inquire how to receive a copy of the report. Once you have a copy, send it to your insurer with a list of any damaged or stolen property.


Notify your home insurance company immediately if an incident on your property results in a lawsuit. 

If a guest falls and is injured, your homeowner’s insurance company will need to know:

  • It requires your first and last name and policy number.
  • More on the liability.
  • If it happened at a specific time and place.
  • Name and address of the victim
  • A detailed account of any property damage or injuries sustained.
  • Witnesses’ names and addresses

If the policyholder is found to be at fault and must file a claim, the insurer will ask for this information. Your premium will not be affected if you report an incident like the one above.

Any legal action taken against policyholders must be reported immediately to their homeowners insurance company. Customers must also copy and send any litigation-related documents to their home insurance provider for review. If the insurer admits liability, you will be expected to do a number of things as a policyholder.

Your insurance provider will ask you to complete documents related to the lawsuit. Please keep track of any proof from the incident to forward to them. You may be deposed or summoned to court by the litigating party or your own insurance company.

Remember that some incidents, such as intentional harm or harm caused while delivering commercial services, are not covered by homeowners insurance. For example, if a family member of a policyholder gets into a fight that turns violent, your homeowner’s insurance will not cover any damages or a lawsuit.

Moreover, even if the damage occurs in your driveway, your homeowners insurance does not cover vehicle damage. If your car damages someone else’s property, your property damage coverage will pay for the repairs. If you injure someone while driving, your auto insurance policy’s bodily injury liability coverage kicks in.


If your home is uninhabitable due to a covered risk, like a fire, you can file a claim and your ALE coverage can help pay for temporary housing.

Costs reimbursed include:

  • Fees for home rentals or hotel stays
  • Your permanent and temporary residences will be connected by gas.
  • Moving costs

Examine your coverage to see what your ALE insurance limits are. Most insurers cap your ALE coverage at a percentage of your total dwelling coverage. In most cases, the restriction is 30% of the dwelling coverage limit. So, if your dwelling coverage is $250,000, your ALE coverage is $75,000. If you live in a condo, your ALE coverage may be up to 50% of your dwelling coverage.

You can submit a claim and get a payment in advance if you can’t afford these costs. In some cases, you may be paid in advance to cover extra living expenses. Any covered expenses should be saved and submitted to your insurance agent when you’re ready to close your claim.


Homeowner’s insurance is rarely tax deductible. A home insurance policy’s premiums are taxed the same as any other personal expense related to your property, such as a utility bill.

Certain insurance premiums can be deducted under certain circumstances. If you have a home office, this is likely.

You may be able to deduct some of your homeowners insurance premiums if you keep a business office in your home. Deductions are proportional to the percentage of total home expenses set aside for the office. For example, if the area represents 15% of your total housing costs, you can deduct up to 15% of your annual homeowners insurance premiums.

Having an office in your home does not qualify you for a premium deduction. Starting with a dedicated work space for your task or business. As a result, if you work from home at your kitchen table, you can’t deduct your kitchen expenses. It may be deductible if you have a separate room for business storage, meetings, or daily work.

Consult your home insurance agent before assuming your home office is tax deductible or insurable. Some businesses, like in-home daycares, may require their own insurance policy.


You should be able to cancel a claim if your insurer hasn’t paid out any money yet. Notify your insurance agent of your name, claim number, and termination request. Prepare a reason for canceling the claim and find out if any paperwork is required.

Remember that your insurer will almost certainly keep a record of the incident. Because no money changed hands, it would be a 0 payout. That means your rates should stay the same the following year.


If you file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance company, you may be charged more next year.

After a claim, your insurer will decide how much to raise your rates, including:

  • Source of complaint
  • Whether or not you’ve made new claims in recent years
  • The claim’s total cost
  • Your home state

If a hail storm shatters a few windows and damages shingles on your roof, you won’t see a significant increase in your rates because of this claim alone. The insurance company paid the claim, and your home is not vulnerable to future hail storms, as it may be to floods if you live in a flood zone.

If your dog injures a neighbor’s child and you keep the dog, your insurance rates will skyrocket.

Assume you reported $3,000 in water damage from a plumbing system leak a year ago. You get new water damage this year and file a similar claim. It is possible that your plumbing system poses a significant risk of future damage.

In your decision to file or not, keep in mind the total cost of an increase. Avoid filing a claim unless you stand to gain a lot of money from it. If your deductible is $500 and you’ve only had one claim in the last three years, your annual premium is $1,000. If you had a $750 water damage claim due to a leak, you’d get only $250 after your deductible. Your insurance provider may raise your premiums significantly if this is your second claim in recent years. The $250 you got from your claim may be outweighed by the higher premiums.

If your rates are set to rise and you want to save money, consider a higher deductible policy. A higher deductible means you’ll be responsible for more up-front costs, but it should lower monthly premiums.


In most cases, your home insurance company cannot cancel your policy after 60 days.

However, insurers can cancel at any time if the following conditions are met:

  • You do not pay the premium.
  • Filing a claim is fraud.
  • You make major changes to your home, making it uninsurable.
  • You flee.

It’s not the same as cancelling your insurance and not renewing your policy. If you file too many claims, your insurer may decide that they can no longer bear the risk of insuring your home.

Summary: How To Make A Claim On Your Home Insurance

Most home insurance companies offer online or phone claims. To file a claim, visit your insurer’s website or call the number listed on your policy. Before alerting your agent, keep track of any evidence of the claim, such as property damage. Consider the cost of repairs and the potential reimbursement to determine if filing a home insurance claim makes financial sense.

If you have any questions about How To Make A Claim On Your Home Insurance contact me today.