What is definitely an insurance claim?
We discussed in a recent article that nobody expects disasters, emergencies or catastrophes. However, if time comes that your home or possessions are damaged, destroyed, or stolen, it’s comforting to know that your insurance company is able to help you. Simply put, an insurance claim is when you submit paperwork to your insurance company to assist reimburse you for losses after a disaster occurs.
How do I submit an insurance claim?
Here are the 8 steps to filing a claim. We'll discuss each one in detail later.
- Decide whether it is even worth filing a claim or otherwise.
- Have I documented everything?
- Have I filled out the paperwork correctly and completely?
- Send the paperwork in immediately!
- Temporary repairs.
- Hello Mr. Inspector.
- Get at least 2 estimates.
- Be ready to negotiate if required.
Think before you file. Remember that many small claims made within a few years can result within the insurance company raising your rates or, a whole lot worse, terminating your policy. The purpose of insurance is to protect you from catastrophic repairs and replacement. So think about, “could it be better for me to pay this myself instead of having the insurance company involved?” You want to keep your insurance for when you actually need it, don’t you?
After a disaster is not time to begin taking an inventory of the belongings and trying in the future up with proof of ownership and value. Discuss adding a headache along with a a headache! Wise clients take time to do a home inventory beforehand. This way all of their belongings have been cataloged, photographed plus they possess the copies of the receipts ready in advance. Do yourself a favor and do that now BEFORE you come with an emergency. Otherwise, you will have to try to remember what you had from memory!
Next, go round the home and take pictures and video of the damage that you experienced. Create a list of the items stolen or damaged.
There is nothing worse than omitting something on a form only to have it kicked back to both you and your reimbursement check delayed weeks or months. So dot every “I” and cross every “T.”
Time is from the essence here. The longer you wait, the greater you will forget and the longer it will take to get your check. This will even allow time for you to get any additional paperwork or proof your agent will require from you.
PRO TIP: Keep a record or journal of every correspondence you have with your insurance contact. Record time, place, names, and what was discussed. Keep these in the same book or app therefore it can be referenced quickly later on.
Remember to keep the home dry and safe. Use tarps and plywood to keep the damage from getting worse. Keep a running list of all expenses that come up for the records. Make sure to make a record of all the stuff you throw away, so that you can add them for your claim.
Your claims inspector will be visiting your home to examine your claim. He'll review the damage as well as your losses on your claim. In turn, he'll explain to you what is covered by your insurance policy and what isn’t. Remember to keep a journal of all your conversations with him, so that you can have them for reference later on.
Just while you would obtain a few estimates should you be putting in a new kitchen, it only is sensible to obtain a few estimates from local contractors on the repairs of the home. First, it can help you to remain within the insurance company’s budget. Second, it’s your home, so you need to feel good about the contractor you will be working with over the next few months. Doesn’t it make sense that you simply should feel comfortable together before hiring?
What happens when your insurance company makes an offer to settle for claims that you are not comfortable with? What can you need to do when it isn’t enough to cover the contractors bills to rebuild your home like new?
- Try to resolve the concern with the insurance coverage company first. Show them all of the estimates you have to prove your case.
- Contact a licensed public adjuster in your area. A public adjuster works difficult to negotiate for you together with your insurance company and will be there every step of the way while your home is rebuilt. Talk to them about your situation. Ask them for ideas relating to your situation. Remember to ask and check for references.
We hope you have found these 8 steps to making a large claim on your home insurance policy. Your InsuranceHub representative is standing buy to help you answer all your questions about making claims at this time.