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Texas Department of Insurance
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February 8, 2024

How to file an insurance claim


Understand the process of filing an auto or home claim to help make the experience less stressful.

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When should I file a home or auto claim?

As soon as you can. You’ll want to talk to the company while the accident or incident is fresh in your mind. If you’re not sure you want to file a claim, you can still call your company and discuss your options. Ask how much your deductible is to help you decide if you should file a claim.

What is a deductible?

A deductible is the money you must pay if you file a claim. You’ll pay for car or home repairs up to your deductible, then the company pays anything over that up to your policy limits.

What should I do when I call the insurance company to file a claim?

Write down the time you called the company, who you talked to, and your adjuster’s name. Make a list of the documents or information the company asks you to gather.

What should I do right after a car accident?

  • Move your car and yourself to a safe location.
  • Take pictures of the accident scene, including your car, the other cars involved, street signs, and anything you hit, like trees or buildings.
  • Take pictures of the other driver’s insurance information, driver’s license, and license plate.
  • Get the name and phone number of any witnesses.

What should I do after my house is damaged?

  • Write down the date and time you first saw the damage. Also note what the weather was like at the time.
  • Take pictures of any damage to your house.
  • Protect your house from more damage. For example, cover broken windows or put a tarp on a roof hole. Don’t make permanent repairs until your company says it’s OK.
  • Save your receipts for temporary repairs. Your company might pay you back.

When will I get paid for my claim?

  • A company should tell you if it accepted or denied your claim within 15 days of getting all the information it needs. They can take up to 45 days if they need more time; they’ll let you know if they do.
  • After the company accepts your claim, it has five days to pay you.
  • If you have a loan on your house, the company may send the payment to your mortgage company. The mortgage company must contact you within 10 days to release the money for repairs.

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