Filing a Renters Insurance Claim
Hopefully, you created an inventory of all your possessions before asking yourself how to file a renters insurance. If not, it’ll be complicated and you may not recoup all your losses. Never wait for a disaster to strike to get motivated with your contents inventory. Create a very detailed list of all your personal belongings and keep this document safe, possibly as a digital file or in cloud storage, so that it will survive a catastrophe like a fire. There are many inventory applications available online, which make tracking and story documents very easy.
Don’t exaggerate on pricing when you create an inventory. You will need to source items and some insurers go with their own pricing. Keep your receipts and serial numbers of various gadgets. Take photographs of all of your belongings to prove you owned them. Get your jewelry and antiques appraised and keep the documents someplace outside of the home. Keep as many original receipts and appraisals as you can. Otherwise, your figures may be in conflict with the insurance company’s estimates.
If for any reason your belongings are damaged and you decide to file a claim, avoid throwing anything away and avoid inviting people over, who may get hurt on the premises, depending on the damage and the source of the damage. Before you take any action, take a look at your policy first to determine whether or not filing a claim is worth paying the deductible. Often, it is not. If you still decide to file a claim, leave everything in place and call your carrier with your renters insurance account number at hand. Your insurance company will send someone over to examine the loss.
Contact your landlord if he/she does not yet know about the damage. If you have a broken window or lock, it is the landlord’s responsibility to replace it. Call the police, especially if the damage is caused by vandalism and/or burglary.
As soon as you can, take photographs or video as much as you can of your damaged possessions. Make sure to photograph areas where there may have been leaks if the damage was caused by damage to the building. It’s important for a claims adjuster to get an idea of what happened to cause damage to your possessions.
If a third party came onto the premises and got hurt, you’ll need to gather the legal notice of what you owe, if the person is charging you with the injury.
Get all your documentation (receipts, notices inventory, pictures and videos) together. Your renters insurance company will tell you what you need to submit and where to submit it.
If your bicycle was stolen, it would be helpful if you have a photograph of the bike. If it was a third party’s possession that was stolen on your property, a photo of that would help too, but it will likely not be covered.
Your carrier may have a claims app or not. When possible, opt for this way of filing because it’s by far the fastest. You simply upload photos and videos and you get approved or rejected.
If you are being sued because someone was hurt or injured in your home, your personal liability portion of your renters insurance will take care of your legal fees.
If you’re responsible for a third party’s medical bills from an injury in your home, the medical payments portion of your liability coverage would cover that bill. The victim of these types of losses will file a claim directly with your insurance company and may need evidence of what happened to be covered. You’ll want to provide this person with your account policy number.
Note that there are limits on all types of coverage.
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Actual Cash Value (ACV) is also known as market value; a Replacement Cost Value (RCV) is when you're reimbursed for the same or similar item.
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