You have home and auto insurance to protect the most valuable possessions you own. When certain circumstances, such as theft or fire, causes damage to these possessions, your insurer provides a settlement to cover your losses.
Understanding the process for filing a claim can help you navigate any issues that might arise. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau explains what you can expect after filing an insurance claim.
An adjuster will review the damage
Insurance adjusters assess damage to determine the cost of repairing or replacing the property. In addition to performing an inspection, they will also ask you questions about the incident. These questions can include how the damage occurred, the age of the property, what condition the property was in prior to the damage, as well as other queries. If you have arranged your own repair estimate, you can also provide this information to the adjuster.
The adjuster will provide a report to the insurer
The adjuster will take all the information collected during the visit and provide it to your insurance company. From there, the insurance company will decide whether to provide a settlement and if so, how much money the damage is worth.
How insurers decide on settlements
Along with the facts surrounding the incident, your policy will also play a role in the amount of the settlement. For example, home policies can provide replacement cost, which provides funds for the repair or rebuild of a structure, or actual cash value, which deducts funds based on depreciation.
In terms of how long it takes insurers to make decisions, this typically depends on the extent and severity of the damage. If you dispute the figure offered, it will naturally take a little longer. Your state may also have laws in place that dictate how long insurers have to make a decision.