It finally happened: you’re in a situation where you have to file a claim with your home insurance company. Though there are probably a lot of things on your mind and many things for you to take care of after a loss, it’s crucial for you not to miss any deadlines to file a claim with your insurance company. Missing the deadline to file a claim would likely leave you to pay for a loss out of pocket, and expenses for repairs and liability quickly add up.
This is why it’s important to know your insurance claim time limit. Besides familiarizing yourself with this deadline, you should also understand what you can do to be ready to submit a claim and what you can expect from your carrier after you do your part.
What is my insurance claim time limit?
Sometimes people may want to wait to file a claim immediately because they want to weigh all their available options and ensure that it’s the proper recourse of action. Though making an informed decision is important, you don’t want to wait too long.
However, the answer for how much time you have to file a claim isn’t very clear cut because it depends on many variables. The time limit to file a claim varies both by carrier and in some cases, by the state you live in. And once you notify your insurance company about a loss, there are additional deadlines you should know about.
These are the typical deadlines you should be aware of throughout the claims process:
- Notifying your insurance company of a loss – this time limit can be anywhere from 30 days to a year, depending on the insurer.
- Submitting documentation – This varies by carrier.
- State time limits – Each state has different policies on how long you have to submit a claim. State limits tend to be longer than carriers.
- Disputing the outcome of a claim – This also varies by carrier.
Because there are so many timelines to keep track of, it’s best to take a proactive approach to learn this information rather than wait until you open a claim with your home insurance. Even if your carrier allows a longer time frame for you to submit a claim, waiting too long might make them see your submission in an unfavorable light and delay payout. Always read the fine print in your policy before buying it so that you know what to expect with timelines.
What will I need to do to submit a claim?
So you’ve decided to open a claim and hope to receive payment as soon as possible. To expedite the claim with your carrier, you can take steps to ensure the process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Here are some things you can do to be prepared:
- Home inventory – Keep an inventory of all your personal belongings. Save receipts and take photos if you can.
- Know your rights – Familiarize yourself with your policy and the legal requirements your carrier should adhere to.
- Document the loss – Take extensive photos of the damage before repairing or cleaning. Keep records of any communication you have with any involved parties, your insurance, and professionals you intend to hire to take care of losses related to your claim.
- Keep the receipts – If you need to purchase any items related to repairs, or accumulate living expenses because you need temporary accommodations while your home is being repaired, be sure you keep all receipts. These records will allow you to receive reimbursement if your policy covers the expenses.
- Fill out the proper forms – You’ll likely have to fill out forms for your insurance company. Ensure you complete and submit any necessary forms so you don’t run into easily preventable delays.
- Show up for the adjustment process – Be highly communicative with the adjuster and if you can be, be present for all inspections related to the loss.
How long will it take my insurance to process a claim?
The time it takes for carriers to process a home insurance claim depends on various factors. Some states have specific time frames on when carriers need to payout a claim, while other states grant a “reasonable” amount of time as a framework for payouts.
More complicated claims will take longer to resolve because there’s more for the carrier to investigate. Additionally, after natural disasters, claims will likely take longer to resolve because carriers are dealing with a greater volume of claims than usual, which leads to delays.
If you experience a loss, working with a qualified expert can help you understand what you need to do and how to navigate the process best so that it runs smoothly and gets paid out faster. Connect with the Guided team today to learn how we can help you navigate the ins and outs of home insurance.