YOUR CLAIMS QUESTIONS ANSWERED

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Male-Business-Owner-Retail

Navigating the claims process can be stressful when you have experienced a loss. Our claims specialists, together, with our team of brokers, independent adjusters, and contractors are here to help.

Common claim questions and concerns are listed below.

What is my role in the claims process?

You are required to provide details about your loss and required documents. You authorize a chosen contractor to initiate emergency restoration and repairs.

What is my insurance broker's role?

Your broker is your initial point of contact. They know you and your policy and can answer your questions and assist in the claims process.

What is the role of Mutual Fire Insurance?

We will open a claim, appoint an independent adjuster if required, confirm coverage, oversee settlement of your claim, and issue payment. Some claims are handled by our claim specialists.

How long does the whole process take?

We will strive to process your claim as quickly as possible. Depending on the kind of loss, extent of damage, availability of local contractors, and other factors such as catastrophic events, the length of time will vary. You can help by providing information requested from you as soon as possible.

What is the independent adjuster's role?

The role of the independent adjuster is to gather information about the loss, help facilitate the repair process, and make recommendations to us for settlement of your claim. An adjuster is obligated to make full disclosure to you about the coverage available to you.

What is the contractor's role?

The contractor provides emergency restoration to your property and contents. Only a qualified restoration contractor trained and certified in fire, smoke, and water damage should perform emergency services. The contractor may attend at the request of your broker or assigned adjuster; however, any work must be authorized by you. The contractor may also be asked to provide a scope of work and estimate for repairs from which all other estimates will be based on. You will be asked to review the scope of work to make sure that you agree with the proposed work.

What is the contract of repair?

The Contract of Repair is between you – the policyholder and your contractor whom you authorize and hire to perform the necessary work to repair your damaged property. This means areas concerning workmanship are issues between you and your contractor. The contractor you choose to perform repairs based upon the agreed scope of repairs and cost is up to you.

What is the contract of insurance?

The Contract of Insurance is a contract of indemnity between us – your insurer and you – the policyholder.

What is replacement cost?

Replacement Cost for contents that you own, such as furniture, means the value of that property on the date of loss for new articles of similar kind, quality, and usefulness without any deduction for depreciation. With regards to repairs to damaged structural property, replacement cost means the cost of repairing or replacing the property with materials of similar kind and quality, whichever is less.

What is actual cash value?

Actual Cash Value is the cost of replacing damaged or destroyed property with property of similar kind, quality, and usefulness, minus depreciation. In calculating depreciation, factors such as the condition and age of the item, its resale value, and normal life expectancy are taken into consideration. Some policies only provide Actual Cash Value settlements, and this will be noted in your policy.

What is the replacement process?

To receive full replacement cost for lost, stolen, or damaged property, you must first replace items with ones of similar kind, quality, and usefulness. If you choose not to replace an item, Actual Cash Value will be paid.

Should I report a theft, burglary, or vandalism to the authorities?

Yes. This is a requirement of your policy conditions.

How do I document all my items? What if the item was a gift?

We ask that you provide us with as much documentation and proof of ownership as possible. Proof of purchase can include original purchase receipts, invoices, bills, appraisals, warranty and manual information, and photographs. We realize that certain items will be harder to substantiate than other items, and we will take that into consideration.

What is a deductible?

A deductible is a portion of the claim that you are responsible for that is indicated on your policy declaration statement. We are responsible only for the amount by which the loss or damaged caused by any of the Insured Perils exceeds that amount of the deductible. Your adjuster will advise you on the application of the deductible.

Is there a time limit on my claim?

Your claim should be reported by you within a reasonable amount of time. Legally, your claim will be statute barred two (2) years from the date of loss that you knew or ought to have known the loss or damage occurred, and in any other case, not later than two (2) years after the date the cause of action against the insurer arose. We can confirm the date of record for you.

Must I sign the proof of loss form?

The Proof of Loss form is a legal document.  By completing the form, you are confirming that you experienced a loss and are formally listing the details of that loss.  By endorsing the form, you are agreeing that you have been indemnified for your loss.  Once we receive a signed and completed Proof of Loss form, we will issue payment to the appropriate parties.  The form acts as confirmation that you agree those parties, such as a contractor, should be paid.