What you need to know about home insurance claims [2024]

Réclamation habitation

Let’s say disaster strikes and there’s damage to your home. Would you know what to do? If the answer is no, don’t worry. Lots of people are unsure how home insurance claims work. What should you do when something happens, and what does the claims adjuster do to guide you through the process? How much compensation will you get? How long does it take to settle a claim? And what exactly is a deductible? We’re here to answer your questions.

Has disaster struck?

First of all, keep in mind that there’s a different claims process for each type of event, although the procedure is fairly similar. Here’s what you need to do to make a claim for your home and what the insurance adjuster does to help you through the process.

What to do in the event of a loss

It’s important to begin the claims process as soon as possible after a loss so you can be compensated as quickly as possible, per your policy.

  1. Limit the damage

    First, make sure you’re safe. Second, know that you are responsible for limiting the damage or stopping it from getting any worse. For example, if there is water damage and you can dry things out to prevent mould, go ahead and do that. But don’t be too hasty to get started on permanent repairs. Talk to your insurer first.

  2. Notify your insurer right away 

    As soon as you notice damage, contact your insurer. Describe the circumstances of what happened as best you can, explain what you’ve done to limit the damage, and provide as much detail as possible about the current situation (the extent of the damage; what has been damaged; whether the experts on the scene, such as police officers or firefighters, have filed a report; and so on).

    To file a claim online, click HERE.

       File a claim

  3. Take photos and videos of the damage

    Once the damage is under control and you’ve initiated a claim with your insurer, take pictures and videos of the damage not just to your home and property, but to your neighbours’ as well. Take photos from a variety of angles so the claims adjuster can fully assess the extent of the damage. Document any expenses you incur while trying to control the damage.

  4. Make a list of damaged or destroyed property

    Write a detailed list of all your property, such as furniture and objects, that has been damaged, destroyed, or stolen (don’t throw anything out just yet!). This is something the claims adjuster assigned to your case will ask you to do. Remember to include proof of purchase when possible, such as receipts, warranties, instruction manuals, and packaging.

    Tip: Don’t wait for disaster to strike to make an inventory of your property! We suggest you draw up your inventory before purchasing home insurance. Then make sure you update it regularly. It will make your life a lot easier if you have to file a claim and time is of the essence.

  5. Cooperate with your claims adjuster

    To reduce the time it takes to settle your claim, be available and give honest answers to any questions from the claims adjuster. If they ask for additional documentation, provide it as soon as possible.

What the claims adjuster does to help you

You’ve done your job; now let the claims adjuster do theirs. The claims adjuster is the expert assigned by your insurer and is the person who will guide you through the claims process. But what exactly does the claims adjuster do?

  1. Investigate the cause of the loss

    The claims adjuster is responsible for investigating the cause of the loss. They will review the documents you provide and take a statement from you and any witnesses. In the case of theft, they will also review the police report.

  2. Check the coverage included in your policy

    The claims adjuster will review coverage under your home insurance policy to check what is included and excluded, which will help them determine which losses are eligible and the amount of any compensation.

  3. Estimate the cost of the damage

    Using photos and the inventory of damaged property you provide, they will estimate the cost of the damage. They might hire an appraiser or other specialist to determine the amount.

  4. Guide you through the process

    The claims adjuster is your contact during the claim process. They will explain what you need to do and provide status updates. Feel free to ask any questions you may have and make sure you have their contact information so you can easily reach them as needed.

  5. Negotiate the claim settlement

    Based on the outcome of their investigation, the claims adjuster will determine whether the loss is covered. If it is, they will calculate the settlement offer. They may also agree to a settlement with you, in which case the insurer can go ahead and issue payment for your claim.

What you need to know about home insurance claims

Being well informed about how home insurance claims work can help you get your claim settled quicker and, at the same time, reduce your stress. Read on to learn more.

Settlement of your claim for damage

Generally speaking, when there’s a covered loss, the insurer pays compensation equal to the cost of the covered damage, subject to the coverage amount or any applicable limitations. Compensation is usually based on the value of the property on the day of the loss. However, there are additional types of coverage, such as replacement cost.

Limitations that may be included in your home insurance policy 

Depending on the insurer and the policy, home insurance generally covers property such as your furniture, appliances, and clothing up to the coverage amount agreed to in the policy. However, compensation limitations may apply to certain types of property. Here are some examples:

For theft only

Depending on the policy you have, there may be limits on the amounts paid out for certain types of goods, such as jewellery, furs, gold or silver objects, bicycles, video games, art objects, collections, and so on.

For all types of losses

Again, depending on the policy you have, there may be limitations on the amounts paid out for damage specific to other types of property such as boats, ride-on mowers, snowblowers, property for business use, money (bank notes, coins, plastic cash, etc.), valuables, wines and spirits, and so on.

If you are unsure about your home insurance policy’s provisions, limitations, and exclusions, contact your damage insurance representative or claims adjuster.

Settlement period for a home insurance claim

Home insurance claims are generally settled within 60 days of receipt of the relevant information and supporting documentation required by the insurer. The sooner you report the loss to your insurer and provide them with all the necessary paperwork, the sooner you will be compensated.

What is a home insurance deductible?

One simple equation will help you calculate the amount of your payout: the amount eligible for compensation (based on the damage and your policy) MINUS the amount of the deductible for your home insurance policy.

So, what is that deductible exactly? The deductible is the amount you’re responsible for when you file a claim. It is specified in your policy, and you decide on the amount when you purchase your insurance. Home insurance deductibles generally range from $300 to $1,000. Your claim may also be subject to a waiver of the deductible, depending on the extent of your loss.

Minor damage: submit your claim online! 

Are you a Promutuel Insurance insured member? In the event of a loss with minor damage, save time by filing your claim online in your Client Space.

Extreme weather: Your Client Space is a helpful tool for filing a claim due to heavy rain or snow or ice storms, for example. These events often affect a large part of the province, and our teams can be inundated with calls. To save time, start your claim through your Client Space rather than calling in and being kept on hold.

Click HERE to log in to your Client Space.


THERE to guide you through your claims process

The thought of experiencing a loss and having to make a home insurance claim is never pleasant, but accidents can happen to anyone. For greater peace of mind, it’s important to be informed—and insured!

To file a claim with Promutuel Insurance or to get the best coverage for your needs, contact us today!


This content is for information purposes only, subject to the coverage, provisions, limitations, and exclusions in your policy.