December 3, 2012

6 Tips To Filing A Homeowner’s Insurance Claim

Filing a claim with your insurance company is a relatively straightforward process, that being said attention to detail is a requirement. A few simple steps will avoid some of the major pitfalls that can cost you not only valuable time but also equally valuable money.

• Call your insurance agent or insurance company as soon as possible. It is important to let the insurance company get started on the claim as soon as possible so that the claim can be settled and you can get your money and your life back as soon as possible. Along that same vein it is important to keep the lines of communication open and that mean that you need to let your insurance company know how to get a hold of you, especially if you have to leave your home because it has become uninhabitable. Also, let them know the extent of your damage, insurance companies will work on the worst cases first, so if your home is uninhabitable you will want to let them know that.

• Document your loss. Drag out that home inventory that you took last year of a few months back and take pictures of the damage. This shouldn’t be a difficult step to complete, but don’t skip it just because you think that the damage is obvious.

• Keep your receipts for additional living expenses. If you do have to leave your home you can still be reimbursed for the extra expenses such as motel receipts and restaurant expenses. Don’t lose out on this valuable coverage due to ignorance.

• Make any temporary repairs that you need to protect the property from further damage. It is important to remember that life is more important than property so don’t put yourself at risk, but do take any reasonable steps necessary to protect your property from further damage.

• Get organized and keep receipts and all contact information. The easiest way to accomplish this is to purchase a spiral bound notebook for about fifty cents and then staple all receipts to the pages inside of it. Additionally, use the pages to make notes of each conversation that you have regarding the claim, note the name of the person that you spoke with in addition to their phone number and e-mail address; also, document the date and time that the conversation took place and what was said.

• Don’t be the victim of a scam. Unfortunately there are many unscrupulous people out there who would like nothing better than to take advantage of you. Please check references and don’t make any deposits.

It has been my experience that while insurance companies are in no hurry to overpay on a claim they are usually fair about the process as well. Of course there are exceptions to the rule. If you feel that your insurance company is ripping you off contact your agent, and if you still don’t get satisfactory results consult an attorney. Good luck.

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