If your home is broken into and the thieves make off with some of your valuables, you may be able to file a theft claim under your homeowners insurance. When the police can’t retrieve your stolen property, an insurance claim may reimburse you for some of your financial loss. Cooperating with your insurance company helps to avoid delays in the claims process, easing the stress that often goes with being the victim of a robbery.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Making the best theft insurance claim requires promptly notifying the police and your homeowners insurance company, gathering information about your policy and lost items, filing your claim with as much detail as possible and following up with your insurer as necessary.
Notify the Police and Insurer
File a police report as soon as you discover that you’ve been robbed. If you don’t file a police report, your insurance company could deny your claim. Prepare a list of the items that were stolen to give to the police. Include a description of each item.
Call your insurance company right after you talk to the police. Once you’ve contacted your insurance agent, a claim representative will get back to you. Give the claims representative a copy of the police report and then provide as much information about the stolen property as you can.
Gather Information for the Claim
Review your insurance policy to find out which of the stolen items are covered. Look to see what coverage limits, conditions and exclusions apply. Your policy should also offer instructions on how to file a claim.
Gather any receipts you have for the valuables that were stolen so that you can submit copies with your claim form. If you don't have the store receipts, your insurer may accept canceled checks, credit card receipts, owner’s manuals or product warranties as proof of ownership. Photographs or video you have as part of your home inventory checklist help prove that the stolen valuables existed.
File a Claim
Fill out the claim form completely. Check to see that the information you provide is accurate. Return your claim form as quickly as possible or within the number of days the insurance company allows. Keep a copy of the claim form for yourself.
Provide the insurance company with any additional information it requests. If you receive letters from the insurance company or are asked to submit more documentation, keep copies of the paper trail for your own records.
Follow Up With the Insurer
Follow up with the insurance company a few weeks after you submit your claim form to find out its current status. Write down the date and time that you call as well as the name of the person to whom you speak in case you have to call again.
Amber Keefer has more than 25 years of experience working in the fields of human services and health care administration. Writing professionally since 1997, she has written articles covering business and finance, health, fitness, parenting and senior living issues for both print and online publications. Keefer holds a B.A. from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in health care management from Baker College.