Though we all like to believe that our homes are going to last forever, the truth is that losses like hail, wind, fire, and theft do happen in our area. Homeowners insurance protects people from having to pay directly for costly repairs when a loss occurs. This is why all homeowners should have an insurance policy.
Unfortunately, in times of trouble, many people panic or just don’t know how to file a property insurance claim. If filed incorrectly, you may not be getting the most out of what your homeowners’ policy entitles you to recover.
Here are some tips on how to properly file a property insurance claim.
Review your policy regularly so that is reflects your current situation. Any time that you do any type of renovations, or make significant improvements to your house, you may need to double check your policy to ensure you have the proper amount of coverage. Check to ensure the policy limits in your policy are more than the current market value of your home.
Document all damage as soon as possible. In order to ensure that all aspects of your loss are properly addressed, it is very important to document the damage as thoroughly as possible. Create a list of all the damage that has been caused. It is even better if you are able to take pictures to show the insurance company. If you have been robbed, make sure that you know the approximate value of everything that has been lost.
Notify your insurance company of the loss in a timely fashion. Most insurance companies require homeowners to notify them that a loss has occurred as soon as possible. Additionally, most policies also include a time limit for the filing of claims. Make sure that you are prepared to describe the damage, as well as how it happened (bad storm, flood, fire, or anything else).
Have your policy information handy. To file a claim, you need to know your insurance company, your policy number, and your insurance company’s claim reporting number. Most insurance companies post their claims reporting numbers on their websites. Once you call the number, the operator will ask you for your policy number, and may ask you additional questions for security reasons.
Secure your home and make any immediate repairs needed to prevent further damage. All homeowners policies require homeowners to take reasonable steps to prevent further damage from occurring. This might include something like placing a tarp over a roof or patching a hole to prevent further water from getting into your home.
Review the claim estimate carefully. After you report the loss to your insurance company, your claim will be evaluated. An insurance adjuster will be sent to your home to meet with you, investigate the damage, and determine what it would cost to fix it. The insurance company will provide you a formal estimate. This is a line by line representation of what your insurance company believes will be the cost to repair the damage caused by the loss.
You may want to hire someone to help you through this process. Though you might think that your claim adjuster is on your side, the truth is that he or she works for the insurance company. These claims can become quite complex and, since all of the paperwork is legal, it can be hard to read and understand. Once you have filed a claim, you should consider hiring someone who has your best interests in mind. In the midst of dealing with unforeseen damage to your home, the last thing on your mind should be making sure your insurance company treats you fairly.
Contact us to ensure that you get what you deserve. We can also help you to make sure that your property is well-protected.