Processing Insurance Claims

Get tips for processing insurance claims for your home and cars and document your loss with photos and videos. 

Homeowners/Renters

  • Report a claim to your insurance company by contacting your agent, calling the company’s 1-800 number or through the company’s website
    • Notify your mortgage company of the damage as well because they will be included as a payee on checks for your loss.  You may also need to make arrangements with them for paying the mortgage during the loss period.
  • Document your loss
    • Take photos/videos of the damage.
    • List every item in or around your home and outbuildings (garage, storage building, etc.) that was lost or damaged.  Here’s a link to an inventory form you can use:  http://www.ok.gov/oid/documents/PC%20home_inventory.pdf Your insurance company may have its own form that it prefers for you to use.  Additional helpful information can be found at:  www.knowyourstuff.org
    • If you have moved recently, and had movers, there will be an inventory list and invoice of everything the movers packed and moved for you.  That’s a great place to start.  If military, TMO will have the inventory and invoice.
    • If possible, provide copies of receipts for the lost or damaged items.  If you no longer have the receipts, you may be able to provide copies of checks or credit card statements to prove the value of the item.
    • If possible, provide photos of the property before it was damaged/destroyed.  Don’t forget that friends and family may have photos even if you no longer do. You may be able to access photos via the internet if you stored them on a photo processing website like shutterfly, snapfish, walgreens, walmart, etc.
  •  Take reasonable steps to reduce your losses.
  •  Ask your insurance company to explain what coverage you have available to help you deal with the loss.  Many policies provide coverage for things other than just repairing/replacing the structure and its contents.  For example, your policy probably provides coverage for debris removal, living expenses, etc.
  • If your home/apartment is not habitable, make alternative living arrangements as soon as possible.  Most homeowners’ and some renters’ policies provide at least some coverage for this.
    • Keep receipts for the living expenses you incur while displaced (hotel, dining, etc.) as some or all of it may be reimbursed. 
  • Your insurance company should be able to give you a check as an advance on your loss.  If they don’t volunteer that (most will), you can request it.

Automobile

  • Report a claim to your insurance company by contacting your agent, calling the company’s 1-800 number or through the company’s website
  • Document your loss
    • Take photos/videos of the damage.
  • Ask your insurance company to explain what coverage you have available to help you deal with the loss.  Many policies provide coverage for things other than just repairing/replacing the vehicle.  For example, your policy may provide coverage for a rental vehicle and medical expenses (if you were injured in the vehicle)

Life

  • Contact the insurance company and ask them what you need to do to make a claim.  Usually, they will send you some forms to fill out and require some documentation, such as a copy of the death certificate.

 

You should consult an attorney for legal advice if you believe your claim was wrongly denied or your insurer is not making you a fair settlement offer.