How to File a Renter’s Insurance Claim

If you live in an apartment, especially in an old east coast city like New York, renter's insurance is a must. The old housing stock here, and in many other cities, increases the chances of fire, water damage and a myriad of other potential problems. If you do not have renter's insurance, all of your possessions are essentially uncovered in the case of damage, regardless of how the damage was caused. In some cases, the landlord's insurance will cover damage to your items, but that is unlikely and often the tenant is responsible for their own possessions.

Hopefully you will never have to use your renter's insurance, but if you do, the best way to ensure your claim is handled swiftly and efficiently is to file it correctly. A poorly filed claim is your greatest enemy when it comes time for compensation.

  • First, contact the insurance company and request a claim form. Try to get a timetable and any other information about the process. Be sure to contact the police in the case of theft or vandalism.
  • Next, fill out the claim form and make as much documentary evidence for your claim as possible. Photos and video are acceptable. Include a police report if you have one.
  • Include an inventory of everything damaged and receipts for those items, if you have them.
  • If you are forced out of your home, save and send receipts for all lodging.
  • The claim, if filed correctly, should be processed quickly.