Should I Get An Estimate For Damage To My Home Before Filing a Claim?

Jan 20, 2021 | Personal Insurance

With so many things happening in the world, the last thing anyone wants is to deal with damages due to one’s home. But sometimes, it just really needs to be done. So, should I get an estimate before filing a claim?

Sad Reality

Filing a claim due to an accident, natural disaster, or unforeseen event can be the worst thing a homeowner can experience. Who would have wanted to deal with all the hassle of filing claims? Not to mention the ordeal that you have to face after the damage?

But remember, this unfortunate situation is the very reason why you get home insurance in the first place. The fact that you chose the insurance company that you are at is because you trust them with your house and investments. Hence, during unexpected trouble, the one that you need to inform first is your insurer.

Do you need to have the damage to your house estimated first before you file a claim?

The answer is No. It is your insurance company’s job to protect you from valid damages, so let them do their job first before making a move on your own.

After an accident or damage, contact your insurer ASAP!

Should you get an estimate before filing a claim? Your Home Insurance company must be the first to know about the damage. Generally, every insurance policy contract requires you to report any property damage claim immediately. It depends on the insurance company, some accept over the phone, and some need to be online. Failure to report within the given time limit can result in possible denial of your claim.

Now, you might think that this is quite hard to do, especially if, for example, you need to evacuate due to a fire or tornado, where we all know that saving our lives and our loved ones. And our possessions are our priority above anything else.

However, again, if it is in the contract that you need to inform your insurance company about the damages, still, you need to comply within the given timeframe because the claims process will begin once you already notify your insurer about the said damage. 

The typical home insurance claims process is getting an estimate before filing a claim.

Although each insurance company has different rules in some way, still there are always common policies insurance companies have. Hence, here is the typical process for home insurance claims 

Reporting a claim in getting/filing an estimate

The first step of the claim will require you to provide the following information: your name, address, policy number, and the type of claim you are filing, such as fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, or wind storm, together with the description of the damage to your property. Hence, make sure that you already have all this information handy before you make a call.

Assigning a professional claims agent

Your insurance company will assign someone from their company to handle your claim. This person will be the one to help you. And assist you with all the procedures the insurance company needs to process your claims.

Initial Contact

This is where a professional agent will contact you to know every detail about the damage or loss. Also, the agent will discuss your insurance coverage and how the company will manage your claim. Be mindful of all the information. And advice the agent will give you because this will help you handle the claims properly. Read your policy to know the ins and outs of your insurance coverage and ask questions. 

Evaluation of the claim

This step thoroughly gathers information about anything that can contribute to the claim. An investigation is needed to do so. The claims professional is the one who will conduct the inspection, collect facts, talk to witnesses, and estimate the total damage. All your notes or files regarding the claim are vital in this step. So ensure that after the damages or accident, you should document it by writing notes about the information. This ensures that you will not miss any information about the claim.


Each resolution is different depending on the severity of the damage. For simple claims, you may receive the payment for the damages after the first visit and the estimated repairs have been calculated. However, the resolution and payment for the damages may take a while to release for more complicated claims. This is due to the need for a more thorough investigation. 

Closing of claim

Your insurance company can close the claim after all the necessary steps are needed and the claim is resolved. If, in any case, you still have some questions, you can always contact your claims professional for assistance. 

Moreover, if you have a replacement cost policy on your insurance, there may be two or more payments before the damages can be paid. Generally, the first payment is for the actual cash value of the covered things. The second payment can be claimed after the items are all replaced.

Make sure to secure the damaged area.

It is your responsibility to mitigate the damages post-disaster. Aside from your responsibility to report the damage to your insurer as soon as possible, it is included in your contract.

You also need to ensure that no additional damage will be done to the premises. Because in case there are more damages done after the initial incident, that may lead to a longer investigation or, worse, denial of the claim. 

You should also need to keep the damaged area intact. Meaning doesn’t throw away anything from the scene. If you are in doubt that something might be helpful or might be the cause of worsening the damage, don’t remove it. As much as possible, keep the area the same as it is.

Also, never try to make changes like fixing or repairing anything until your insurance company approves. Yes, it is so hard to move into a messy room. Having the urge to fix it yourself can be frustrating, especially if it seems like repairing something won’t hurt but don’t.

No matter what happens, don’t try to make a DIY repair. This may cause more damage if done wrong and can also be the reason for more complicated claims. 

BUT! Damages due to leaking roofs can be an exception! If this is your claim type, consider making temporary repairs. It is a brainer that leaking roofs can cause further problems if more things might get destroyed because of the leaking water.

The bottom line is if doing nothing can cause more harm, you should do some actions to lessen the damage. 

Hiring a professional adjuster

Your insurance company will send an adjuster from their company to assist you with your case. The adjuster will help you through the process, so don’t hesitate to ask questions if there are things that are not clear enough.

However, some homeowners preferred a public adjuster to help them during claims. Remember that as a homeowner, you have the right to choose whether you want your company’s adjuster or a public adjuster to help you, so go for what you are comfortable with. 

During this process, bring all the information you have to help the adjuster calculate the damage, such as receipts of the damaged items and other proof of purchase. These can help a lot and can make the claim process faster. 

What to do if you know the cause of damage to your property?

Natural Disaster

If your claim is due to a natural disaster like a tornado, hail, or hurricane, you need to report the claim right away without too much information.


That is a different story if the damage is due to an accident like someone’s car bumping your front yard. In cases like this, you need to be extra vigilant in gathering more specific information before you file a claim or make a call.

List Things in Detail

Let’s say your neighbor’s car accidentally hits your property, which causes damage to your yard. You must get the driver’s information, such as the name, the insurance carrier, and the insurance policy number.

Ensure you also note the exact description of what happened, including the time, date, and location.

Contact Your Agent

Once you have all the necessary information, contact your insurance agent to help you. Although cases like this, the at-fault insurance provider must be the one to shoulder the damage.

Your insurance agent should only be the one to help you file a property damage claim. That being said, the auto insurance of the driver at fault should cover the damage once proven guilty.

Unknown Suspect

If, unfortunately, you don’t know who damaged your property, like a vandalism claim, just do the correct step-by-step process.

Gather all the information, take notes and even photos before you file the claim, and report it within the given timeframe. 

Reliable Insurance Coverage

Accidents are inevitable, so having Home Insurance can be your best protection to ensure your investments. Ensuring you are properly insured will give you and your family the peace of mind that all families should have.

Our Team Is Your Advantage

We hope you learned a lot regarding whether should you get an estimate before filing a claim. If you want to know more, contact us today! Our team will be happy to help you further understand everything you need to know about homeowners insurance in Denver, CO, or any other 44 States we cater to. We can also discuss all your options and discounts on Home and Auto Insurance. Call us now! 

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