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Written by Andy Gurczak

September 16, 2021

Homeowners Insurance Claim Tips

Getting reimbursed for a covered incident isn’t as easy as simply filing a document. Insurance claims are a long and often complex process. Therefore, understanding it is your best shot at success. Public adjusters can be of great help since they are insurance claim professionals that work for the policyholder. Keep on reading to learn the most important homeowners insurance claim tips.

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Homeowners insurance claim tips #1: First, know your home insurance policy

Your policy is the contract that binds you and your insurer. It outlines the details of your coverage. So understanding your policy and knowing what’s covered, what’s excluded, and the deductibles are crucial. If you don’t know how to decipher policy language, a public adjuster can help interpret it for free.

Homeowners insurance claim tips #2: If you think you have a case, file your claim as soon as possible.

Don’t let the bills or receipts pile up. Instead, after the damage, call your agent or your company’s claims hotline as promptly as you can. In fact, your policy might require that you make the notification within a certain time frame. Moreover, remember to file a police report, if necessary. If the damage resulted from a crime, report it to the police and ask for a copy of the police report. You’ll need this document when you make a claim with your insurance company.

Homeowners insurance claim tips #3: Fill out claims paperwork on time

Once you inform your insurer about the incident, they will send over forms for you to fill out. Your insurer will assign you an insurance adjuster to manage your case and confirm you meet any deadlines your policy outlines. Depending on the insurance company and the type of insurance claim, you might have to send in the following:

  • Description of the loss and how it happened
  • Second, an inventory of the lost or damaged personal property.
  • Also, the specifications of the damaged structures
  • Finally, receipts for additional living expenses if you can’t live in your house. As well as invoices for any temporary repairs you had done in order to mitigate damage

Remember, failing to comply with your provider’s requests can seriously harm and invalidate your payout. Make sure you read your policy carefully to understand your responsibilities so that you make the most out of your claim. If you’re unsure how to proceed, consider hiring a public insurance adjuster to help you.

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Homeowners insurance claim tips #4: Make an itemized list for future insurance claims

As mentioned before, you’ll likely have to send in a list of your damaged property. For this reason, it’s essential to make an itemized list of your belongings before a disaster strikes. This list will serve as evidence that you owned the property in the first place, proof of its model and value. Therefore, the list should include:

  • Anything you would need to replace after a covered incident.
  • Prices for each item.
  • The date you purchased the items.
  • Receipts if you have them.
  • Pictures of the items

In addition, keeping track of what you own and how much the items are worth can help you maintain your coverage up to date. It can also help you figure out if you need to purchase endorsements. For example, your insurance probably only covers a fraction of the cost of valuable items if you don’t have an endorsement to extend its coverage. In addition, insurance companies typically limit coverage for special items, such as jewelry or handguns. So if you have these items, consider getting extra coverage.

Homeowners insurance claim tips #5:If possible, document your interactions with the insurance adjuster

Once you’re assigned an insurance adjuster, you should make a point to start documenting your interactions. For instance, you could keep a journal or spreadsheet. In it, log the date and time of your conversations, along with a brief explanation of what was said. In addition, ask for paper or electronic copies of any reports or statements your adjuster makes.

Moreover, keep copies of all correspondence and write down information about your telephone and in-person contacts, including the name and title of the person you spoke with. Also, keep a record of your time and expenses since your insurer could compensate for it later on.

Homeowners insurance claim tips #6: Understand how to deal with insurance adjusters

Your insurer will assign you an insurance adjuster to evaluate your property damage and decide how much you’ll receive as a reimbursement when you file a claim. An adjuster’s priority is to minimize payouts for the insurance company. Therefore, dealing with an insurance adjuster can be tricky, and you should be careful about what you tell them.

Although it’s important to be honest on your insurance claim, you should never make statements that could be taken as an admission of guilt. The adjuster could use this information as evidence that your negligence was responsible for the damage, and you would receive no payment.

Remember, lying about your claim or concealing information counts as insurance fraud, consequently invalidating your claim and possibly resulting in legal penalties.

Homeowners insurance claim tips #7: Ask questions

Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to understand your claim. For instance, if there is a disagreement about the claim settlement, ask the company for the specific language in the policy that justifies. If you feel like you might be entitled to additional coverage, ask your insurance agent about it. Feel free to ask away.

Homeowners insurance claim tips #8: Make necessary repairs to mitigate the damage to your home.

In most cases, policies require you to make reasonable repairs after an incident to protect the property from future damage. For example, you may need to tarp up a hole in the ceiling to prevent water from coming in and ruining the undamaged items. If you need to hire a professional to help you professionally clean or repair the property, save the receipts so your insurer can reimburse you accordingly.

Keep in mind that if you don’t make reasonable repairs to minimize the loss, your insurer might deny further claims because you failed to maintain your property. However, don’t make any permanent repairs without the approval of your insurance company. Your insurer may deny a claim if you make permanent repairs before the damage is inspected. Also, avoid throwing out any damaged personal property until your claim is settled. Furthermore, take photographs or videos of the damage before making temporary repairs.

Homeowners Insurance Claim Tips Mitigate Damage

Homeowners insurance claim tips #9: Don’t rush into a settlement

If the first settlement offer made by your insurance company does not meet your expectations, be prepared to negotiate. If you have any questions regarding your settlement, seek a public adjuster to help you out.

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