Any event that is followed by filing an insurance claim can be a bit stressful. When something happens that damages your home, you have to go through the process of getting yourself back to where you were before the incident. This involves an insurance claim, and working with a claims adjuster.
Insurance provides financial protection for your assets. The contract is an agreement that the insured pays the company a specific price, and the insurer is required to cover your property (car, home, etc) up to a set limit.
What are the steps of the claims process following the event that damages your home?
- First of all, it’s important that you take pictures of the damage, from every angle. Documenting the severity of the damage with physical proof will help you get the results you need from the claim.
- It’s also very crucial to remember that not every claim you file will be covered. There is a specific list of coverages included and excluded in your policy. Unfortunately, in some cases, insureds have damage to their home, but do not have the proper coverage needed to provide support. It’s endlessly important to know exactly what the contract for your homeowners insurance policy states, giving you knowledge of your coverages. If you have a well-trained, knowledgeable insurance agent, you will neither be under-insured, nor over-insured.
- Remember to mitigate all damages in every way you can. There is also a possibility that damages will not be covered if you didn’t take necessary precautions to prevent further damage occurring. If hail destroys your roof, and you do not put a tarp over to prevent any water getting into your home, you may not have coverage for the damage caused to the inside of your home by the water.
- If the damage of your claim is below or slightly above your deductible, you should consider not filing the claim at all. It can raise your home insurance rates, which may be pricier than just paying the deductible.
- When you call to file the claim, be thorough with your explanation. Tell the adjuster the facts, and be very specific about the damages and the cause of the damages.
- It’s a good idea to be there when the claims adjuster comes to assess the damages. That way, you can answer all the questions and clear any confusion they may have.
- Basically, it is the claims adjuster’s job to analyze the damage done, and review your policy to see exactly what’s covered, and price the settlement. Claims adjusters are experts in determining a proper settlement. The adjuster will take into consideration cost of materials, labor, and the value of lost items.
- Do not lie. Always be honest with your description of the incident.
- The initial settlement is not yet final. After further research, you are allowed to disagree with the offer. If the offer is not sufficient, ask the claims adjuster to do investigate more into the claim and see if he/she may have missed something. Adjustment negotiations happen, but do keep in mind that the adjuster is taking all things into account.
- Have patience with the process. Your insurance company is working to ensure you get the proper settlement to fix any damage to your insured property. The process may take more time than you thought, but once the claim is settled, it will be worth the wait.