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Dealing with an emergency at home is never easy, whether it’s a fire, break-in, or flood. Thankfully, your home insurance policy is there to protect you and your family when you need it most. Keeping track of some important information before, during, and after an incident can make for a smoother claims process and help you feel at home again as quickly as possible.

When you make a home insurance claim, you could be asked to provide any of the following information:

  1. Details about the incident: a description of what happened in your own words; whether or not the incident may have been caused by a faulty product (e.g., faulty plumbing parts or electrical wiring) — if possible, keep the faulty item for the adjuster to inspect
  2. Damage to your home: the type of materials that were damaged (e.g., drywall, doors, hardwood flooring, etc.) and the dimensions of the area that was damaged; where the damage started (i.e., where the water is coming from or where the burglar entered your home)
  3. Damage to your belongings: the type of damage caused and whether the damaged items need to be cleaned, replaced, or repaired
  4. Details about each damaged or stolen item: a description of the item including its brand name and model number, the original purchase cost, and where and when the item was purchased (this is where your home inventory sheet or app can come in handy)
  5. Any steps you’ve taken to reduce the damage: a description of any work you’ve already done to fix the problem or prevent further damage (i.e., if you’ve tried to patch a leaking pipe to prevent further flooding)
  6. Details about police involvement: the police report number and the responding officer’s name, badge number, and phone number
  7. If you have your own contractor who you’d like to hire to complete repairs to your home: contact information for the contractor
  8. Whether or not you need to make alternate living arrangements while waiting for repairs to your home

Sometimes a home insurance claim happens, even when you’ve taken all the right steps to prevent it. While you may not be able to remember all of the information you need when the time comes to make a claim, your broker will be there to help walk you through it — and they’ll work with your insurer to settle your claim as quickly as possible so you can focus on getting back to normal.

Need to make a claim? Reach out to your licensed insurance broker right away. In case of an after-hours emergency, call your insurer’s emergency service line.