How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?

Most homeowner's insurance policies and renter's insurance policies contain language that requires you to submit a claim within a certain period of time. Typical policies require you to make a claim within a year of incurring damage to your home or loss of your possessions. To be certain, you should review your policy or ask your insurance agent how long you have to submit a claim.

Why File My Claim Quickly?

It makes financial sense to make your insurance claim in a timely manner. The sooner you make a claim, the sooner your insurance company will compensate you for your losses.

It's important to know that once you file a claim, you may still add to it if you discover additional damage or forgot to include certain possessions in your inventory of items that were damaged or destroyed. In addition, you are legally entitled to reopen a closed claim if you feel that you were under compensated or if your claim was initially denied. In most states, you have 1 to 5 years to reopen a closed claim.

Questions for Your Attorney

An insurance claims attorney may be able to assist you in maximizing the value of your claim, and getting all of the money to which you are entitled.

When meeting with an insurance claims attorney, consider asking the following questions:

  • How long do I have to file a claim under the terms of my policy?
  • How long do I have to reopen a closed claim?
  • Have you previously handled cases like mine?

Related Resources on Lawyers.comsm
- Dealing with Insurance Companies
- What is My Claim Worth?
- Natural Disaster Insurance Claims
- Homeowner's Insurance FAQ
- Find an Insurance Claims lawyer in your area
- Visit our Insurance Claims message board for more help

Tagged as: Insurance, Property Insurance, renters insurance claim, property insurance lawyer