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What to Expect When Filing a Theft Claim

According to FBI statistics, a theft or burglary occurs every 14.6 seconds. If it happens to you, know how to get your insurance claim filed quickly. Here's what to expect:

Prepare for the unexpected

Save your receipts and document your purchases. This will make things easier if you ever have to file an insurance claim for stolen items.

Take an inventory of your personal property.

  • To get organized, go through your stuff and make an inventory checklist grouped by category, value, room in your home, etc. If possible, you should keep the original sales receipts for these important items (especially if they are covered for Replacement Cost Value). Your checklist should document all items under your Coverage C insurance such as:
    1. Jewelry, art, collectibles and other high-priced valuables
    2. Tablets, laptops, computers, televisions, gaming systems, and other electronics
    3. Guns, knives, and other weapons
    4. Oven, range, gas logs, and other major appliances
    5. Rarely-used items like holiday decor, seasonal sporting equipment, and tools
  • Take pictures of your things, create an inventory checklist, or make a video of your items; find a safe spot like a safe, online repository, or fire-proof box to store your records.

What to do right after you've been burglarized

  1. Take inventory of property damage or loss.
  2. Contact the police and file a police report.
  3. Call your insurance company promptly and report the claim.
  4. Take photos of any structural or personal content damages.
  5. Work with your claims adjuster to review the insurance policy and police report.
  6. Cooperate with your insurance company during the investigation and/or inspection.

Filing your claim

After you file a police report, call your insurance company promptly to report your claim:

  • Using your pre-made inventory sheet as a checklist will help quickly discern what is out of place or damaged.
  • Your claims report should include the following information about your damaged or stolen property:
    1. Where your item was purchased
    2. When your item was purchased
    3. What your item had cost
    4. What brand your item was
    5. What model your item was
  • If you do have damaged property in your home, don’t get rid of it. Your adjuster may need to review it to complete your claim.

Usually, your adjuster will contact you within 24 hours after you’ve filed your claim. To expedite the claims process, have a copy of your insurance policy on hand when you talk to your adjuster.

Investigation and Inspection

Your insurance company may conduct an investigation and inspection of your claim before making payment.

  • An investigation will help your insurance company to verify your claim and identify any additional documentation that may be helpful (e.g. a copy of the police report).
  • An inspection is not always required. In an inspection, a field adjuster will come to your house to assess any physical damage.

The final step

When your claim is settled, you will be paid for your lost or damaged property covered by your policy, minus your deductible and any applicable depreciation. Your deductible is the amount you chose to pay out of pocket. Your insurance company will provide you documentation regarding all aspects of the outcome of your claim. Keep a copy of this documentation for your records.

This information is provided for your convenience; it is not intended as insurance advice. The views, opinions, and advice expressed in this article are solely those of the author and not those of Homesite Group Incorporated. Please consult your insurance carrier or agent for information regarding your policy or coverages.
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