Filing a Renters Insurance Claim

The first step in filing a renters insurance claim is to notify the authorities as soon as possible. An official report from first responders will be the easiest way to make sure your claim is settled appropriately. Before calling your provider and filing a renters insurance claim, assess the damage. Take photos, speak with witnesses, and get the official report from the first responders before calling your insurance company.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Nov 16, 2020

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Filing a claim against your renters insurance is not much different than filing any other type of insurance claim. Make sure that you gather the evidence to support your claim, and follow the procedure you are instructed to follow by your insurance company. As long as you follow the process correctly and provide the information needed for the insurance company to settle the claim, the entire process can be concluded in a matter of days.

  • Notify the Authorities – Having an official report filed on your case will be the easiest way to make sure your claim is settled satisfactorily. As soon as you discover the damages, injuries or missing items, call the ambulance, fire or police, as appropriate. Make sure to get a report on the incident to provide to the insurance company.
  • Assess the Damages and Losses – While you are waiting on the authorities to arrive, take a few minutes to assess the situation. Make a note of things that are broken, destroyed, and missing. The more information you can provide the police about a breaking and entering, for example, the better your chances of getting the case settled, not to mentioning recovering your missing property.
  • Call Your Insurance Company – Call your renters insurance company and let them know what has happened. If asked, give them a preliminary report of missing or damaged property, the status of injuries, or other facts pertinent to the claim you will be filing. Your insurance company will notify you of any special information that is needed, and will make arrangements to have a claim report filled out, an adjuster sent by, and the process of reparation begun.
  • Make Temporary Repairs – Make any temporary repairs that are necessary to prevent the damage from getting worse. This could mean covering a broken window to keep the rain out, sealing a doorway or some other temporary construction to prevent further weather related damages, looting, or fire.
  • Prepare Your Documentation – Save copies of all estimates, reports and other documentation. If you encounter any problems with the claims process, having the right documentation could be a huge benefit. If you were using a home inventory, check it carefully to make sure that you have accounted for everything that was insured.
  • Save Your Receipts – If you are not able to use your home because of damages, your renters insurance may provide you with loss of use reimbursement. If you do have this feature, be sure to save all receipts used in association with the loss of use of the home so that you can get that money back as part of the claim settlement.

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