How and When to File a Claim on Your Landlord Insurance
Landlord insurance is a coverage that a property owner can purchase for financial protection in the event of property damage or a liability claim. If you are a renter, you can find more information on renters insurance coverage and claims in our renters section.
To get fast answers to your questions and concerns with rental or landlord insurance, find an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network. There are over 22,000 member agencies in 27,000 locations to serve you.
When to File a Landlord Insurance Claim
- Your rental property has been damaged by weather, fire, burglary or vandalism
- A tenant has caused damage, either purposefully or inadvertently
- Your rental becomes uninhabitable due a power problem, flooding or fire
- A tenant or visitor has been injured on the rental property premises
- A tenant has filed a lawsuit against you
These are just a few examples. Apartment owners’ insurance claims can run the gamut from wind, hail and lightning damage to fire and smoke damage. If you are ever unsure whether your insurance company will cover your insurance claim, simply contact your agent or an insurance company representative to inquire about your specific situation and how to begin the claims process.
How to File a Claim on Your Landlord Policy
When you experience a loss, such as an apartment fire, an earthquake, or damage to one of your rental units from a burst water pipe, there are a number of things you should do.
- If needed, call 911. In an emergency situation, the first step is to get help fast. If anyone is injured, or there is a fire, your claim can wait until after first responders have arrived to handle emergency and medical needs.
- Assess what happened. Take a look at the damage – but only if it is safe. Insurance adjusters will take proper precautions to view the extent of the damage without getting in harm’s way. The main thing you want to do is gather enough information to be able to contact your insurance company to file a claim.
- Document damages and injuries. You may be asked for a written statement or pictures of damaged property. Make note of any injuries that have occurred. Writing down what has happened can be extremely helpful. Taking pictures of damage is a great idea.
- Contact your agent or insurance company. With most insurance companies, the claims process can be started through the agent or the insurance company itself. Some insurance companies have online claim forms as well. Cooperate with the insurance company by completing all paperwork in a timely manner.
- Keep track of all documentation. Police reports, documentation, pictures and anything else relating to the incident or problem should all be collected in one place. Accidents and damage can lead to legal claims – even months later – so make sure you have everything organized.
Your insurance adjuster will review the entire situation. Most likely you will speak with an insurance company representative who will review your insurance coverage and tell you how to proceed. You will likely be asked to obtain estimates on repairs, if appropriate.
How Insurance Companies Prevent Fraud
Insurance companies watch carefully for fraud in order to ensure that they are paying out on legitimate landlord claims. A recent study from the Home and Landlords Insurance Industry reported that approximately 2,500 fraudulent claims are filed each week, at enormous expense to the insurance industry. The result is that these costs must be passed on to consumers.
Insurance companies will do a thorough review of your claim to ensure that it is legitimate. There are some important steps to take as you complete the claims process:
- Be truthful in reporting what has occurred.
- Track the phases of the claims process, and follow the insurance company’s instructions.
- Use money you receive from a claim for the repairs or other purpose it was intended to fund.
What if Your Claim Is Denied?
The most important thing you can do if your claim is denied is get the facts. Why are you not being compensated? Is the claim outside of your policy’s coverage? Is there anyone else you can talk to at the insurance company to verify that your claim is not covered?
If the claim is outside of your policy’s coverage, are there things you need to do to prevent this scenario from happening again? Do you need to enhance your coverage in the event of future damage or liability? If your coverage is a “bare bones” policy, or is lacking in any other way, should you consider changing to a new landlord insurance policy with a different insurance company?
An independent agent in the Trusted Choice network can help you address these questions and more. These agents represent multiple companies and can research multiple coverage options and pricing plans for you. Get a quote or find an agent today.
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