The Claims Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

Do you know what to do in the event of a home insurance claim? Below is our step-by-step guide to help you through the claims process.

1. Call Your Insurance Broker

Call Your Insurance Broker | Harbord - The Home Insurance People
This is the first thing you will want to do so you can discuss the claim with them, and discuss all the factors to consider before moving forward with the claim such as:

  • How big the property loss is in terms of approximate cost
  • The amount of your policy deductible
  • Details of your claims history
  • Your ability to make the repairs without claiming on your policy
  • Possible loss of your no claims discount
  • Potential future consequences due to the claim

2. Report Your Claim

If after discussing the above factors you decided to go ahead with the claim, there are two ways to report it.

Option 1: File the claim with your insurance broker who will forward your details to your insurance company. From there your insurance company will assign a claims adjustor to contact you directly.
Option 2: Call the insurance company directly to report the claim. Most insurers have a claims lines open 24/7.

3. Complete Your Schedule of Loss Form

Complete Your Schedule of Loss | Harbord - The Home Insurance People
Your adjustor will give you a schedule of loss form to complete. You must provide accurate descriptions of the items damaged in your claim including if possible:

  • Make, model, & serial number
  • Place of purchase, date of purchase, and original price
  • Location of the item in your home

Return this information to your adjustor, and they will put together a settlement.

4. Clean Up

You can either do the cleanup on your own or hire a professional restoration company to help.

If you do the cleanup yourself, do not throw away any damaged property. You will need to keep track of what you did and how long it took, and then give those details to your adjustor. They will reimburse you for your time once your adjustor confirms your coverage.

Remember to take photos and/or videos. This will show the condition of your damaged property before you clean it.

5. Establish Repair Costs

Your adjustor will gather a detailed description of the damage to your building, including all the materials needed to fix it. They will then use this information to build an estimate for the repair.

Once your estimate is complete, you can settle your claim by taking a cash payout or hiring a contractor to do the work.

In some cases, you may be required to choose your own contractors for additional quotes. Your adjustor will let you know if this needs to happen.

6. Tender Repairs

If your damages are significant, the repairs may need to be priced through a tendering process. This would involve getting bids from several contractors, and the quotes will be used to set your repair budget. Your adjustor will help you with this process and tell you about the tender results and your approved repair settlement.

7. Choose a Contractor

Choose Your Contractor - Harbord - The Home Insurance People
Your relationship with your contractor is very important, so you do usually have the option to choose your own contractor.

Whether the repair costs are determined by an estimate, quote, or tender process your adjustor will advise you of the repair budget your contractor has to work with.

Once the repairs have been completed to your satisfaction, SGI CANADA will pay the amount that was authorized for those repairs. The contractor is solely responsible for the warranty on their work.

8. Assess Your Belongings

A specialist will assess the value of your belongings. The items listed will be assessed to determine the replacement cost which is the dollar amount needed to replace damaged property without adjusting the cost for depreciation. This is limited to the amount shown on the policy and/or on the damaged item report. If your policy has replacement cost coverage, you can replace your items and claim the difference based on the assessed replacement cost value later. You can also accept a partial payment based on the actual cash value. Actual cash value is the fair market value of property. It considers factors that might impact the value, such as age, wear-and-tear and depreciation.

9. Finalize your Claim

The more complicated the claim, the longer it may take. Some factors involved are the extent of the damage and the availability of a contractor.

To finish your claim, your adjustor may ask you to sign and return a proof of loss form and/or certificate of completion form. Signing these forms tells the insurance company that you’re satisfied with the proposed settlement or the completed repairs. They will make the final payments to you or your contractor after we receive the signed forms.

The Bottom Line

As your insurance broker, we are here to ensure a smooth and successful outcome. Following an insured loss, we will help you navigate the entire process and advocate for you. Contact us today if you have any further questions about making a claim!