The claims process generally follows these steps for loss or damage claims:
- The incident occurs.
- Document the event as best you can, including photos, video, and writing down the details of what happened (include date, time, weather conditions, a description of what happened, witness details, and anything else that is relevant).
- If police are involved, ensure you get a copy of the police report.
- Submit a claim.
- You may need to do some paperwork, such as a Notice of Loss or Proof of Loss.
- You’re assigned an adjuster.
- The adjuster’s job is to determine what is covered by your insurance.
- The loss is evaluated.
- The adjuster will likely meet with you.
- An expert may be called in to appraise or advise on the loss.
- You may need to complete more paperwork at this step.
- Repairs or replacement of the loss.
- Your insurer will likely supply a list of trusted vendors to take care of repairs or rebuilding.
- You will be issued a cheque for a total loss. The amount will depend on your insurance policy loss settlement option.
- The repairs, rebuilding or replacement is completed. Additional living expenses and all other eligible payouts under the policy should be settled. All paperwork should be completed.
- The claim is closed.
This is a very simplified version of the claims process. It can also change depending on the claim and type of insurance policy the claim is being filed under. For example, a liability claim (which helps protect you when you are sued) is very different to a car accident claim.