Top tips for a smooth insurance claim process

3 Tips for When You Have a Claim

Filing an insurance claim is a crucial step toward financial recovery after experiencing property damage. With around 1 in 20 insured homeowners filing a claim annually, understanding the process is vital for every policyholder.

Before filing an insurance claim for property damage, it is essential to evaluate whether the damage exceeds your deductible, as this decision can affect your premium rates or policy standing.


1. Reviewing Your Insurance Policy

Before filing a claim for car or home insurance, it is important to consider your options carefully. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  1. Making a claim could result in higher premiums in the future or when it’s time to renew your policy.
  2. Certain insurance companies offer discounts to policyholders who have not made any claims (claims-free discount).
  3. If the amount of your claim is just slightly higher than your deductible, it may be worth considering whether it is more cost-effective to cover the loss or event yourself.

For instance, let’s say the damage your claim totals $1,500, but your deductible is $1,000. In this scenario, your insurance will only reimburse you $500. Additionally, your premiums may increase during the renewal of your insurance policy. For example, if you were previously receiving a claims-free discount by filing a claim, this discount will likely be removed from the policy (unless otherwise stated, such as having Claims-Free Protector listed on your policy page). It is essential to weigh the potential long-term increase in premiums against the $500 saved by filing the claim.

While it’s impossible to know how much ‘exactly’ your insurance policy will increase upon renewal, as your broker will not have access to next year’s rate increases, they can still help. Harvard Western Insurance offers claims counselling for this very reason. They can talk it out with you to provide you with the information and knowledge they have to help you make a better-informed decision.


2. Immediate Actions Post-Incident

Immediately following an incident, taking swift and organized actions can significantly streamline the insurance claim process.

  1. Mitigate any further damage.
  2. Take photos of the loss and make a list of damaged items.

Claims counselling

3. Navigating the Claims Process

  • Initial Steps:
    1. Report the Incident: Contact your insurance advisor to report the incident.
    2. Documentation: Write down the details about the incident, including the date, location, property involved, and pictures.
  • Adjuster Interaction:
    1. Adjuster Assignment: Your insurance company will appoint an adjuster to investigate your claim, inspect the damage and analyze reports.
    2. Meet the Adjuster: If an in-person inspection is required, we recommend meeting the adjuster for the inspection. This will give you the chance to discuss the claims process.
    3. Communication: Be sure to stipulate your preferred method of communication with your adjuster and advisor, whether that’s phone or email, for your check-ins.



While potentially daunting, filing an insurance claim is pivotal in safeguarding financial stability in the face of unexpected incidents. These foundational strategies are designed to equip policyholders with the knowledge to manage their claims more confidently and ensure a smoother, more informed journey from incident reporting to claim resolution.

HWI branded lined breaker

Thanks for reading our article; I hope you enjoyed this month’s insurance claims topic. Here are some more ways to access more insurance information and tips:

  1. Visit our Blog/article page each month, where we publish various insurance articles and share information on specific industry products:

→ Learn more about Claims and visit our SUPPORT PAGE

2. Follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date on the latest business insurance articles and follow our company updates: