It’s probably one of the last calls you ever want to make, but if something ever happens to your home you’re going to want a quick and painless home insurance claim process. You want to be able to get back to living your life as soon as possible.
Here five tips increase the chances that your home insurance claim will go smoothly when you need it.
1. Don’t hesitate to call your insurer
No one loves having to deal with major problems. I know how tempting it is to ignore tough or unpleasant situations. After all, if my house just burned down or was broken into I’d probably want to take a few days and just gather my thoughts. However, it’s very important that you notify your home insurance company as soon as you can. Most, if not all, policies require prompt notice of a claim.
It’s also important that you make your insurance claim before doing anything to repair or replace damaged or lost property. You risk your claim being denied should your actions make it harder for the company to investigate your claim.
When you’re reporting your claim keep in mind our tips for talking with your insurance agent. There are some words you may not want to use. For example, should your pipes burst, don’t call it a flood, as flooding is something not typically covered by insurance policies.
2. Prevent additional damage
While you don’t want to start repairs before you make your claim, you also don’t want to allow damage to get worse in the time between your call and the insurance company’s assessment. Cover any leaks and mop up standing water to prevent mold.
3. Document everything
It’s up to you to list all damaged property when making the claim. Your list should include as much detail as possible. This means a basic description of the affected items as well as pictures, purchase dates, replacement costs, and actual cash value. This can be a difficult and time consuming process, but it is one of the most important steps to getting your home and possessions back. Build an inventory now, before something happens, so that you are prepared with good records for a home insurance claim.
It’s also worth it to take note of the interactions you have with your insurance company. Take down dates and times of any phone calls, meetings with investigators, and make copies of any forms you sign.
4. Find temporary housing if necessary
If your house becomes unsafe, you need to find somewhere else to rest your head. Your insurance company will help put you up in a temporary residence that should be comparable to your own house under the additional living expenses portion of your home insurance policy.
5. If you feel overwhelmed, get some help
The claims process can be a little confusing. A public adjuster will help you through each and every step in the home insurance claim process. Even more importantly, an adjuster can make sure that you are protected. The hope is that your home insurance policy and insurer will offer good coverage and customer service, but it helps to be prepared just in case.