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
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
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.
- Jewelry, art, collectibles and other high-priced valuables
- Tablets, laptops, computers, televisions, gaming systems, and other electronics
- Guns, knives, and other weapons
- Oven, range, gas logs, and other major appliances
- Rarely-used items like holiday decor, seasonal sporting equipment, and tools
What to do right after you've been burglarized
- Take inventory of property damage or loss.
- Contact the police and file a police report.
- Call your insurance company promptly and report the claim.
- Take photos of any structural or personal content damages.
- Work with your claims adjuster to review the insurance policy and police report.
- 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
- 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
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.
- Where your item was purchased
- When your item was purchased
- What your item had cost
- What brand your item was
- What model your item was
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.