How Does a Renters Insurance Claim Work?

There may come a time when you need to file a claim through your renters insurance. Here's everything you need to know about the renters insurance claim process.

What you need to do

After a loss to your personal property:

  1. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible.

  2. If items were stolen or your credit card was compromised, notify the police. If applicable, also notify the credit card company.

  3. Protect the property from further damage.

  4. Provide your insurance company with any documents it requests.

  5. Prepare an inventory of lost or damaged items. Take photos or video if possible.

  6. Verify the loss by identifying the cause and extent of damage.

  7. Sign a sworn proof of loss, if requested.

For a liability claim:

  1. Notify your insurance company if you anticipate a liability suit coming.

  2. Provide your insurance company with any documents it requests.

  3. Forward all legal documents to the insurance company as soon as possible.

  4. Submit evidence as requested.

  5. Do not make any voluntary payments.

How your adjuster will respond

An adjuster is the insurance representative who handles your claim. Their job is to assess whether your policy covers the claim and for how much.

Your adjuster will follow a specific set of steps to evaluate whether your claim is covered:

  1. They’ll look at your declarations page to ensure that you and your apartment are covered.

  2. They’ll look at your insuring agreement for information about your premium, deductibles, and policy definitions.

  3. They’ll determine if you’ve followed your policy's conditions.

  4. They'll examine your policy’s exclusions. If any exclusions apply, the adjuster will deny coverage for the claim. If not, the adjuster will move forward with determining how much the policy will pay.

The final step

How you’ll be compensated following a renters insurance claim is also outlined in your policy documents.

For a personal property claim, your policy will pay the lesser of actual cash value or replacement cost.

Actual cash value is the item’s cost minus depreciation.

Replacement cost is the actual cost to repair or replace the items.

For a liability claim, if your claim is covered, your policy will pay any judgment issued, up to your liability policy limits. If applicable, your policy will also provide a defense, even if the suit is groundless, false or fraudulent.

The information and descriptions on this site are general in nature. The coverage afforded for a particular loss depends on the specific facts and the terms, exclusions, and limits of the actual policy. Nothing on this site alters the terms or conditions of any policy, as the policy controls coverage. Coverage options, limits, discounts, deductibles, and other features are subject to underwriting criteria, state availability, and effective dates. Coverage provided and underwritten by NJM Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, 301 Sullivan Way, W. Trenton, NJ 08628.