Frequently Asked Questions
What Do I Need to Know?
Beginning the Claim Process
During the Claim Process
Finishing the Claims Process
How Does a Catastrophe Claim Differ From a Regular Claim?
Following a catastrophe there is an increase in claim volume so the National Catastrophe Team (NCT) has created catastrophe specific claims processes. Some of these processes may include deploying catastrophe claim specialists and establishing remote catastrophe claims offices. If the catastrophe affects a large number of vehicles in a concentrated area, the NCT may also organize a "Mega Drive-In" so that adjusters can efficiently inspect a large number of damaged vehicles.
What Should I Do Immediately Following a Catastrophe?
We suggest that you do the following:
- Protect yourself and your family.
- Report your loss in one of the following ways: contact your Allstate agent directly, report your claim online or call 1-800-54-STORM (1-800-547-8676).
- If you purchased a policy with another company through an Allstate agent, you should contact your agent or call 1-888-213-0085, option 6, for further information.
- Protect your property from additional damages. Most Allstate homeowners policies have a reimbursement provision for reasonable and necessary temporary repair costs (up to a specified limit) that you incur while trying to protect your covered property from additional damage resulting from a covered loss. So please be sure to save these receipts for consideration of reimbursement.
What if My Home Is Unlivable?
Your policy may provide for Additional Living Expenses when your home is unlivable due to a covered loss. Ask your agent or catastrophe claims specialist if your policy has this provision.
How Long Will It Take to Complete My Claim?
The length of time it takes to complete the claims process depends on several factors. Although we deploy additional staff to catastrophe areas to handle the increased claim volume, there may be hundreds or even thousands of customers impacted; this, coupled with the complexity of your damages, availability of vendors, and safety issues contributes to the length of time it takes to settle your claim.
When Will Someone Inspect My Damage?
Your catastrophe claim specialist will contact you and determine if a damage inspection is needed or if your loss can be settled by phone. When an inspection is required we schedule an appointment as quickly as possible, but we usually schedule appointments for customers with the most extensive damages first.
Should I Wait Until an Allstate Adjuster Inspects the Damage Before Making Any Repairs?
Yes, you must wait to begin repairs until we have completed an inspection and properly assessed covered damages. However, you do not have to wait for Allstate to inspect your property or settle your loss to select a contractor who can repair the damage.
If your damaged property requires immediate attention, consider making temporary repairs to prevent further loss. Most Allstate homeowners' policies have a reimbursement provision for reasonable and necessary temporary repair costs (up to a specified limit) that you incur while trying to protect your covered property from additional damage resulting from a covered loss. So please be sure to save these receipts for consideration of reimbursement.
Do Allstate Catastrophe Claim Specialists Recommend Contractors?
No, you decide how best to replace your personal property and to repair your home's damage. Allstate does not recommend contractors following a catastrophe since they are often overwhelmed by the number of properties needing repairs and may not be able to meet their normal service level.
How Do I Choose a Contractor?
Following are some suggestions to help you choose a reliable contractor:
- Talk with friends or family members who have recently had satisfactory repair work completed.
- Ask for contractor references and check them.
- Get information about your contractor's work history from your local Better Business Bureau.
- Discuss payment terms with your contractor before signing any contracts.
- For more information read Tips for Hiring a Home Repair Contractor.
How Can I Check on the Status of My Claim?
To check the status of your claim, you can contact your adjuster, or you can call 1-800-54-STORM (1-800-547-8676) during regular business hours and speak with a catastrophe claim specialist. You also can view your claim status online if you've registered with the Customer Care Center and have access to it.
To register for Customer Care Center access, you can go online or call 1-800-ALLSTATE (1-800-255-7828) for quick access. You may register online with full access to your policy information by providing additional information to identify yourself. Or you may register with limited access and provide less information, but you will not have immediate access to your claim's status. You'll then receive a Personal Activation Key (PAK) for accessing your claim information in the mail within 7-10 days.
What If Additional Damages Are Found During the Repair Process?
If additional damage is found during the repair process you must call your catastrophe claim specialist or 1-800-54-STORM (1-800-547-8676) immediately to report this. Your catastrophe claim specialist will determine if the damage needs to be re-inspected or if it can be resolved by phone with your contractor.
What If I Don't Agree With My Allstate Claim Representative's Estimate?
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, differences of opinion about an estimate occur. If you disagree with our damage evaluation, please call your Allstate claim specialist or 1-800-54-STORM (1-800-547-8676) to discuss the issue. In many instances we can resolve the differences by phone. If we cannot reach an agreement, your policy outlines an approach in the "Conditions" section under "Appraisal" that can help everyone agree on the loss amount. However, it does not apply to coverage disputes. We are committed to always settle claims fairly.
How Will My Personal Property Claim Be Settled?
If your loss involves personal property and your policy provides coverage for personal property damages that result from a covered loss, you will need to make a detailed description of damaged personal property including the manufacturers' names, model numbers, purchase dates and purchase prices. Your catastrophe claim specialist will determine the actual cash value of the property at the time of the loss.
Why Is There Depreciation Shown on the Estimate When I Have Replacement Cost Coverage (Personal Property Reimbursement Provision)?
If you purchased the Personal Property Reimbursement provision, the policy will pay to replace your covered personal property if it's damaged, destroyed or stolen, with new items of like quality. Although your damage estimate shows a depreciation amount, Allstate will make an additional payment to reimburse you (in excess of the actual cash value and up to the replacement cost noted on your estimate) for the cost you incur for repairing, rebuilding or replacing your covered property. This is, of course, subject to the policy limits, coverage, conditions and exclusion provisions of your policy.
What Is a Deductible?
The deductible is the portion of a covered loss that you are responsible for under the policy. For example, if the covered loss is $4,500 and your deductible is $500, you pay the $500 and Allstate pays the remaining $4,000.
When, and to Whom Do I Pay My Deductible?
Even though you receive a damage estimate from Allstate, in most cases you would pay your deductible directly to the contractor once repairs are completed. Your damage estimate lists the total dollar amount of your covered loss, your deductible, any applicable depreciation and the amount Allstate pays toward the loss.
When Can I Expect to Receive a Settlement Check From Allstate?
In some cases, the adjuster will complete the estimate at the time of inspection and provide you with both the estimate and the check so you can quickly begin the repair process. However, in most instances the adjuster inspects the damage, prepares a repair estimate, and once we have approved and processed the estimate, we will mail a check and the estimate to you separately.
Why Does the Check I Receive From Allstate Include the Name of My Mortgage Holder?
If you have a mortgage on your home, the mortgagee is usually named in your homeowner's policy. Most mortgagees require that their name is included on claim payment checks. You will need to contact your mortgagee to find out how to obtain their endorsement on the check.
What If I Have Questions About My Claim or Find Additional Damage After the Catastrophe Adjusters Are no Longer In My Area?
Although Allstate is committed to serving our customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-ALLSTATE (1-800-255-7828), the best time to reach a catastrophe claim specialist is during regular business hours at 1-800-54-STORM (1-800-547-8676).