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Understanding the Insurance Claims Payment Process for Your Personal Belongings

After filing an insurance claim, you want to get back to normal as soon as possible, and your insurance company wants that too! You may get multiple checks from your insurer as you begin to replace your damaged or missing belongings. Here's what you need to know about claims payments.

Initially, your lost personal belongings will be calculated on cash value basis.

To begin the claims process, you'll have to submit a list of your damaged belongings to your home insurance company adjuster (having a home inventory will make this a lot easier). Even if you have a replacement value policy, the first check you receive from your insurer will be based on the actual cash value(ACV) of the items. Actual cash value is the depreciated value of the item based on the age of the item. Why do home insurance companies do this? It is to match the remaining claim payment to the exact replacement cost. If you decide not to replace an item, you will only receive the actual cash value (depreciated) amount for it.

To get replacement value for your items, you must actually replace them

To get fully reimbursed for damaged items, most insurance companies will require you to replace the lost or damaged item. Your insurance company will ask for copies of receipts as proof of purchase, then pay the difference between the actual cash value you initially received and the full cost of the replacement with an item of similar size and quality. You'll generally have several months from the date of the actual cash value payment to purchase replacements. Discuss this time frame with your home insurance adjuster during the claims process to learn how much time you have to finish replacing the lost or damaged items.

In the case of a total loss, such as a total fire loss where all personal belongings are lost or damaged, insurers generally pay the policy limits, according to the laws in your state. That means you can receive a check for what the contents were insured for at the time of the disaster.

Selby Insurance and Financial can help walk you through the home insurance claims process in the event of a loss. Selby Insurance has helped guide many families in Jonesboro through this confusing process. We can be reached any time at (870) 336-2121 or at You may always stop by our Jonesboro, AR office located at 2216 Wilkins Avenue.


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