What's in this guide?
- What is proof of loss on an insurance claim?
- Can I get a claim paid without proof of loss?
- How do I file an insurance claim without proof of loss?
- Do I need proof of loss if the items are listed on my policy?
- What if I can't prove the loss on my insurance claim?
- Compare car insurance quotes
- Bottom line
What is proof of loss on an insurance claim?
In insurance terms, proof of loss is the evidence your insurance company requires to show that your items were damaged or stolen. The types of proof vary based on the insurance policy and type of incident that occurred. It could be a photo, video or receipt, for example.
Why do insurers require proof? This evidence shows what items you had and how much they were worth so insurance companies can prevent insurance fraud that can drive up premiums for honest customers.
Can I get a claim paid without proof of loss?
It depends on the type of policy and damage claim. In many cases, filing an insurance claim without proof of loss can slow the process down as you and your insurance company work to find an alternative form of evidence. Other times, your insurance company may deny the claim altogether.
To improve your chances for a claim approval, you can send as much evidence of the damage and your ownership as possible.
How do I file an insurance claim without proof of loss?
You’ll likely need an alternative form of evidence to get your claim approved. Most companies won’t pay out without proof that you suffered damage or loss or that you owned the items damaged.
To use a different proof of loss method than your insurance company’s standard, contact your agent or the company’s customer support for acceptable alternatives.
Home or renters claim without receipts for damaged belongings
If you didn’t inventory your belongings before they got damaged, you can make a list of the items after the fact. Keep the damaged items on hand since an insurance adjuster may want to inspect the damage in person. It’s also a good idea to take photos or video of the damage to add to your renters or home insurance claim.
Then, recover detailed information that helps your insurance company determine the item’s value like the brand, model or serial number. Your company may accept this evidence as proof of purchase or ownership:
- Credit card, bank statements or receipts
- Warranties or manuals
- Photos or videos that show the items
- Statements, emails or texts from friends or family
- Original packaging
- Spare parts for the item
Home insurance theft claim without evidence of theft
One of the first few things to do after experiencing theft is to call your local police’s non-emergency line. The police will write a report about the situation and investigate the scene. The police report may reflect the officer’s conclusions about the situation, possibly giving support for your claim.
In addition, a burglary insurance claim with no receipts for belongings may still require that you prove you owned the item. If you can show some other evidence like photos or a bank statement of the purchase, your insurance company may accept your claim. Keep in mind that companies vary on what kinds of proof they’ll accept.
Car insurance claim without the other driver’s contact info
If you suffered a car accident and the other driver fled the scene, you can still file a claim on your car insurance. Steps to take for a hit-and-run:
- Take care of injuries. Make sure you and your passengers are safe.
- Note as many details as possible. Once everyone’s safe, write down as many details about the accident as you can. Include a description of the other car, partial or full license plate numbers, location, time of day and how the accident happened.
- File a police report. This step is valuable for the insurance claim when you don’t have the other driver’s information. Give as many details to the police as you can remember.
- Notify your insurance company. Many states let you use uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage for hit-and-runs, except a few states like California, Georgia or Ohio. In these states, collision coverage can pay for your car’s damage. If you don’t have either types of coverage, you’ll have to shoulder repair costs yourself.
- Work through the claims process as normal. The rest of the car insurance claim should follow the same process as other car accidents. You can expect close communication with your insurance adjuster and a possible meeting to estimate damage costs. Once approved, you should receive your payment at least within a few weeks.
Life insurance claim without the death certificate
You must have the death certificate to claim the benefit on a life insurance policy. If you don’t have the death certificate, you can request a copy from the funeral home that oversaw your loved one’s burial or your state’s health department. Requesting this copy may come with a small fee. Typically, only family members and legal representatives can request a death certificate.
Disability insurance claim without a medical statement
You must have proof that your disability keeps you from performing your normal job or any job at all, depending on the type of policy. If you didn’t receive a written medical statement detailing your disability, you’ll need to request this from your doctor when filing the claim. The statement should include the diagnosis, treatments recommended and any limitations caused by the disability.
In addition, your insurance company will need your employer’s statement, showing how your disability affects job responsibilities. The statement may need to verify how much work you’ve already missed and income lost.
Do I need proof of loss if the items are listed on my policy?
You won’t need to prove your item’s value if you already keep purchase receipts or professional estimates on file with your insurance company. For example, if you had valuable personal property like an engagement ring listed in your policy, that’s all the proof your insurer needs.
With some policies, you can list specific items you want protected when you take out the coverage, such as home or renters insurance. In these circumstances, you may need to a receipt or professional value estimate of your belongings when you first get them covered. If these items are damaged or stolen down the line, the receipts on file can make the claims process easier to settle.
However, you should still get a police report for stolen items and keep damaged items in case of an insurance inspection. Items with professional estimates may need their value updated from time to time if they change in value over time.
What if I can’t prove the loss on my insurance claim?
If you don’t have sufficient proof of loss for insurance, your company can deny the claim. In situations without standard proof, the claim’s approval will depend on your insurance company and the available details.
However, in many cases, an insurance inspection will give ample evidence of the damage. A police report can also go a long way in proving the details of the situation, such as theft or a hit-and-run. Together, the police and your insurance adjuster can rule out intentional harm and pay out the settlement if the situation is cleared.
Compare car insurance quotes
Each type of insurance policy requires different documentation to prove a claim. While you might provide alternative proof of loss for some claims, other cases won’t pay out without specific documents. The good news is most customers who deserve a claims payout should be able to access the documents they need.
If you’re looking for insurance with highly rated claims service, shop a variety of insurance policies to meet that need.
More guides on Finder
How much does umbrella insurance cost?
Get a low-cost policy for liability expenses that exceed your car or home insurance coverage.
Texas disaster assistance for the 2021 Winter Storm
Here’s where to get financial help for yourself and your business if you’ve been affected by the storm in February 2021.
How can you use your health savings account (HSA) as a retirement investment?
A health savings account (HSA) can help you get prepared for your retirement. Learn more.
Compare home renovation insurance
Transform your home without leaving insurance gaps while your home’s under construction.
Workers comp rocked by COVID claims and changes
Learn which states are making it easier for you to get workers compensation if you get sick from the coronavirus and which jobs qualify.
6 types of insurance you can deduct on your taxes
Plus, 2 you can’t.
How to apply for a Second Draw PPP loan
You only have until May 31, 2021 to get your next application in.
How to get rid of private mortgage insurance
Smart strategies that homeowners can use to get rid of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).
2021 travel may require a COVID-19 vaccine passport — here’s how to get one
Here’s how to get one.
How does a VIN affect car insurance?
Learn how insurance companies use identifying info from your VIN to set rates.
Ask an Expert