Filing a Calgary home insurance claim is something no homeowner looks forward to. However, you can make the claims process relatively easy and painless by educating yourself on what you should do and what you should avoid each step of the way.
Steps to Take Before Calling Your Insurance Company
The claims process begins with you contacting your insurance company to report the damage, but before you do that, you need to do a few items of housekeeping.
First, if there is an ongoing threat of further damage to your home, do whatever you need to do to mitigate it as soon as possible. Filing a claim can wait if there’s water flowing into your basement. Next, take detailed photographs that show the full extent of the damage, and carefully track all expenses you incur in remedying the situation.
If you have repair estimates from professional contractors, make copies and be prepared to submit them. You should also dig up your homeowners’ insurance policy number before you call so you can get faster, more reliable service.
Calling Your Insurance Company
Before you call, you should also make a list of questions to ask the insurance representative you’ll be speaking to. While your policy will contain details about what is and what is not covered, and to what extent, the fine print can be confusing, so be sure to write down everything you don’t understand and get clear answers about the issues you raise.
Take detailed notes of your conversation, including initial estimates for compensation, the claims adjuster’s name and contact information, and your insurance company’s advice for next steps. If your home requires extensive repairs, your insurance company can give you advice about how to proceed while your claim is pending.
What to Do if Your Claim Is Refused
Having a claim refused can be very worrisome, but if your provider did not honour what you believe to be a legitimate claim, the good news is you have recourse under the law.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Ask your insurance provider for a written explanation that details their reasons for rejecting your claim
- Contact your insurer’s ombudsperson to discuss your case
- Contact your local GIO Canada office if you are unable to negotiate an acceptable settlement with your insurance company
- Remember that the independent, impartial Alberta Superintendent of Insurance is here to help in a worst-case scenario
The key thing to remember is that there are independent agencies in place with the power to overturn your insurance company’s decision if there is compelling evidence for them to do so. This is another reason it’s very important to carefully document everything that happens from the very beginning of the claims process.
More Helpful Tips
One of the best things you can do to make the home insurance claims process as easy as possible is to maintain a regularly updated inventory of the valuable items in your home. Go through your home room by room, listing everything of value and documenting it with photographs whenever possible.
Include things like:
- Furniture and electronics
Whenever you acquire an item of value, document it and update your list. Keep a copy of the most recent version of the list on file with your home insurance provider at all times. You’ll be glad you did if you ever need to file a future claim.
Enjoy Great Claims Support from Lane’s Insurance of Calgary
In addition to working with Alberta’s most trusted insurance carriers, one of the best things about Lane’s Insurance is its industry-leading claims support. Lane’s offers expert assistance, along with great attention to detail and customer service staff that is invested in resolving your claim favourably.
Learn more about Lane’s lineup of home insurance products.