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What To Do If You Have A Loss

  • When you incur a loss, you should contact your agent or company representative immediately. The sooner you file your claim, the sooner you can expect to receive payment. You should telephone first, but if you do not get an immediate response, write a letter.
  • Homeowners policies issued in Idaho generally require you to do the following when a loss occurs:
  • Give written notice as soon as possible.
    • In case of theft, also notify the police.
    • Promptly send the company any legal papers received relating to a claim or suit.
    • Cooperate and assist the insurance company in any matter relating to a claim or suit.
    • Protect the property from further damage. Make any emergency repairs needed to protect the property from further damage.
    • Make a list of all damaged or destroyed property.
  • Remember that your insurance policy sets time limits for claim-filing activity. If you do not complete your claim forms promptly, protect your property from further damage or otherwise cooperate with your insurance company, your claim may not be settled to your satisfaction.
  • Idaho Insurance Code contains 14 specific activities which may be considered unfair acts or practices by a company when settling an insurance claim:
    1. Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions relating to coverages at issue;
    2. Failing to acknowledge and act reasonably promptly upon communications with respect to claims arising under insurance policies;
    3. Failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of claims arising under insurance policies;
    4. Refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation based upon all available information;
    5. Failing to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable time after proof of loss statements have been completed;
    6. Not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair and equitable settlements of claims in which liability has become reasonably clear;
    7. Compelling insureds to institute litigation to recover amounts due under an insurance policy by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in actions brought by such insureds;
    8. Attempting to settle a claim for less than the amount to which a reasonable man would have believed he was entitled by reference to written or printed advertising material accompanying or made part of an application;
    9. Attempting to settle claims on the basis of an application which was altered without notice to, or knowledge or consent of the insured;
    10. Making claims payments to insureds or beneficiaries not accompanied by a statement setting forth the coverage under which the payments are being made;
    11. Making known to insureds or claimants a policy of appealing from arbitration awards in favor of insureds or claimants for the purpose of compelling them to accept settlements or compromises less than the amount awarded in arbitration;
    12. Delaying the investigation or payment of claims by requiring an insured, claimant, or the physician of either to submit a preliminary claim report and then requiring the subsequent submission of formal proof of loss forms, both of which submissions contain substantially the same information;
    13. Failing to promptly settle claims, where liability has become reasonably clear, under one portion of the insurance policy coverage in order to influence settlements under other portions of the insurance policy coverage; or
    14. Failing to promptly provide a reasonable explanation of the basis in the insurance policy in relation to the facts or applicable law for denial of a claim or for the offer of a compromise settlement.