Insurance tips for homeowners

The tips below will help to make it easier if you need to file a claim and prove a loss:

Plan ahead

  • List and videotape or photograph the contents of your home.
  • Engrave your larger possessions, such as your TV, stereo, etc., with identifying marks.
  • Photograph or videotape the exterior of your home from several angles and viewpoints.
  • Have special valuables, such as jewelry, antiques, stamps, coins, and other collectibles, appraised.
  • Keep your insurance policy, home inventory, receipts, appraisals, and photos and videotape records in a secure secondary location.

Resolving and paying claims

Your insurance company must:

  • Acknowledge receipt of your claim within 10 business days, unless it makes payment within that period.
  • Complete an investigation of the claim within 30 days of being notified, unless it cannot reasonably do so.
  • Notify you if it needs more time to accept or deny your claim, and tell you why within 15 business days of receiving the proof of loss.
  • Tell you why, in writing, if it does not complete the investigation within 45 days after you submit your proof of loss, and follow up every 30 days until it completes the investigation.

When you and your insurance company disagree on the amount of your loss

If you and your insurance company don't agree on the value of your loss, you can challenge it by hiring a private appraiser. Read your homeowner policy for more information about this process.

Important:  If you file a claim, your insurance company may use that information to decide if they'll continue your policy and also how much your coverage will cost.

For specific details on these requirements, see (WAC) 284-30-360(1) (www.apps.leg.wa.gov), (WAC) 284-30-370 (www.apps.leg.wa.gov) and (WAC) 284-30-380(3) (www.apps.leg.wa.gov).

Updated 03/27/2014

See also

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