Home. Your place of retreat, your creative space, your bachelor pad. The place where you first brought your baby home, the place where your family gathers on holidays. No matter what “home” means to you, a house is one of the greatest investments you’ll ever make.
So, what do you do when something happens to your beloved abode?
What to File
Before you even begin the process of filing a claim, you must first decide if you should file it at all. Filing too many claims in a given period of time can cause your insurance company to increase your premium or choose to not renew your policy. When deciding if you should file a claim, review your claim history carefully and use your best judgment. If the damage is minor, consider not filing a claim to avoid increased premium rates.
Before Filing a Claim
Before you file a home insurance claim, there are a few steps you’ll have to take. Know your home insurance policy well. Review the policy regularly (before disaster strikes) so you have an idea of what will be covered if you have to file a claim. Have one of our agents go over your policy with you to help decipher confusing language and answer any questions you may have concerning it.
When your home is damaged, take photos to document the damage as quickly as possible. It will also be helpful to have “before” photos, so think ahead and photograph your home on a regular basis.
If the damage is extensive and needs to be addressed immediately, you can make temporary or minor repairs with the help of a contractor. Before beginning any repairs, consult with your insurance company for their advice and expertise.
Filing a Claim
Be thorough in your claim. Include all necessary information but be sure to stay factual in your reviews of the damage. You should also document all interactions and communication exchanges with your insurance company. Take detailed notes about the conversations and keep those stored in a safe place.
Your insurance claims adjuster will probably have several other cases being handled, so don’t panic if they don’t get back to you right away. Although you shouldn’t expect immediate responsiveness, it is wise to stay in touch with your adjuster throughout the claims process. Be cooperative and honest with your adjuster. Once the damage has been inspected by an adjuster, your insurance company will offer a settlement.
Although filing a home insurance claim can be a confusing and stressful process, knowing what the process entails and being prepared for potential incidents can make a big difference.