Residential Property Insurance
Information on Claims
Suffering damage or loss to your home can be stressful. Filing a claim doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips on what to do and what to expect.
These tips apply to claims you file with your insurance company, but can also help with claims you file against another person’s company.
Filing a Claim
- Get contact and insurance info for anyone involved in the accident or loss.
- Take photos/videos of the loss or damage.
- For theft, contact the police and file a report.
- Find your policy. Look at your declarations page and other policy documents to find your policy number, any deductibles, and how to contact your insurance company. If you can’t find a copy of your policy, request one from your company.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
- Take steps to prevent further damage to your home/property. Only make emergency repairs before your insurance company’s inspection.
During a Claim
- An insurer will conduct an investigation and may request more info from you. You are required to cooperate with your insurance company.
- There are several timelines related to your insurance company’s investigation and handling of your claim. To learn more about claims handling deadlines, read our Homeowners Bill of Rights.
- You will work with a group of insurance professionals called adjusters. To learn more about adjusters, visit our Adjuster page.
- Your home/property will be inspected, most likely by an adjuster. Get a written estimate.
- Hire a qualified and insured contractor to do the repairs.
- Review any contracts before signing.
- Make sure the repairs are completed. Take photos/videos for your records.
- Keep records of all communications about your claim.
- Keep receipts and other documents for all repairs and other out-of-pocket costs related to your claim.
Problems with Your Claim
If you and your insurance company do not agree on the amount of your claim, or what your policy covers, you can:
- Contact your adjuster about the dispute. You can also contact your insurance company and ask to discuss your claim with a manager.
- Contact an attorney to advise you of your legal rights. The State Bar of Texas can help you find an attorney.
- Pay a licensed public adjuster to review the damage and handle your claim.
- File a complaint with the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI).
Terms to Know
Additional living expenses (ALE) – helps cover extra costs when you have to live somewhere else because your home was damaged.
Claim – a request made to an insurance company to pay for damage or injury.
Claims adjuster – reviews the loss to figure out what is covered under the policy, if liability exists, and how much is owed.
Coverage – the damage or injuries an insurance company agrees to pay for under the policy.
Deductible – if you have a claim, the amount of the deductible is subtracted from your claim payment. It can be found on the declarations page of your policy.
First-party claim – a claim filed by you against your own insurance policy.
Liability – when you are responsible for other people’s injuries or damage to their property.
Policy – a contract between you and the insurance company. The policy tells you what’s covered and what the insurance company is required to pay.
Policy period – the period of time your policy provides coverage.
Premium – the amount you pay an insurance company for your policy.
Third-party claim – a claim you file against another person’s insurance policy or a claim someone files against your policy.