While nobody likes making renters insurance claims, the reality is sometimes unexpected things happen, and your landlord’s insurance won’t cover your belongings. That’s what you got Texas renters insurance for in the first place. But how do you know when to go through the trouble of making a claim? And when should you just cover the damage yourself?
This article will walk you through when and how to make Texas renters insurance claims.
When Should You Make Renters Insurance Claims in Texas?
You should make a renters insurance claim as soon as possible if:
- You’ve experienced an incident or event covered by your renters insurance
- The value of your belongings exceeds the deductible
- You haven’t made many claims before
Let’s examine each of these situations in more detail.
1. You’ve Experienced a Covered Event
Most Texas renters insurance policies list what types of events, also known as perils, are covered. Typical perils include:
- Fire or smoke damage
- Water damage from pipes
- Theft and vandalism
- Damage from hail, lightning, and wind
If you experience one of these events, you’re eligible to make a claim with your renters insurance company. Keep in mind that certain events like floods aren’t usually covered by basic renters insurance. If you live in a part of Dallas that experiences flooding from rain, talk to your renters insurance company about adding flood protection.
2. The Value of Your Belongings Is More than Your Deductible
Remember that your renters insurance policy comes with a deductible, or an amount of money you agree to pay before the insurance company starts contributing. If you’ve lost your most important and valuable possessions in a fire or theft, then you should certainly make a renters insurance claim to help cover the damage. But what about when you’ve lost just a few non-critical items? For example, if a fire causes $1,500 in damage and you have a deductible of $1,000, then the insurance will only reimburse you for $500 in damages.
If your property damage is less than your deductible, then it’s probably not worth it to file a renters insurance claim.
3. You Haven’t Made Many Claims Before
The great thing about renters insurance is that it’s there to protect you when you need it. However, keep in mind that making renters insurance claims can affect your premiums later. The more claims you make, the more you’ll be tagged as a “high risk” to the insurance company. As a result, you may be charged a higher premium to renew your policy, and some renters insurance companies refuse to cover anyone who has made too many claims in the last five to ten years.
In other words, the best way to keep your premiums affordable is to make renters insurance claims only when you really need to.
How Do You Make Renters Insurance Claims in Texas?
Once you decide to make a renters insurance claim, follow these three steps:
- Photograph the damage and take notes.
- Gather your inventory and receipts.
- File a claim with your insurance company.
Let’s explore more detailed information about each step.
1. Photograph the Damage and Take Notes
If an accident or theft occurs, take pictures of the affected area as soon as possible so you’ll have clear evidence of the damage. For example, if someone breaks into your home, you’ll also want to take a picture of the entry damage, such as a broken lock or window.
You should also start taking as many notes as possible about anything related to your insurance claim, including conversations with your landlord and the insurance company as well as details about the damage. The sooner you write down your notes, the more accurate they’ll be.
2. Gather Your Inventory and Receipts
Hopefully, you’ve been keeping a detailed inventory of your valuable belongings — if not, now’s a great time to start.
Your inventory is how the insurance company determines how much to reimburse you for your losses, so be as detailed as possible. For example, if you list that you own a “computer” but don’t specify that it’s a state-of-the-art gaming computer, then you may just get reimbursed for a standard, cheaper computer.
3. File a Claim with Your Insurance Company
Many insurance companies allow you to file a claim online, by mail, or over the phone. Whichever method you decide, be sure to document every step of the process in case you need to refer back to anything later. Keep a log of your phone calls and make copies of anything you send by mail.
Once you file a claim, be prompt about following up with any additional documents that the insurance company asks you to submit.
Renters Insurance Is Here to Protect You in Texas
If you’ve experienced a theft, fire, or natural disaster, we know that the experience leaves you feeling vulnerable and stressed about replacing everything. That’s what renters insurance is for — to protect you when you need it the most. Texas renters turn to Baja Auto Insurance to give them peace of mind for an affordable price. All it takes is a few minutes to get an online renters insurance quote for Texas renters insurance. Visit us at one of our offices or give us a call at (800) 401-6870.