Your home insurance is meant to help you handle unexpected financial costs when there’s damage to your property. Whether it’s the structure, your personal belongings, or costs due to your house being uninhabitable, insurance helps keep those costs from becoming a burden.
How to Make a Home Insurance Claim?
In the wake of a loss, call your insurance company. Filing your claim may be as simple as making a phone call.
Eventually, your insurer will need documentation such as photographs, receipts, appraisals, and other evidence required to justify your claim. However, you may not need all of this to initiate the process.
It is important to be prompt about informing your insurer of a loss. Failure to notify them in a timely manner can complicate the claims process or even result in the insurer denying the claim.
Consult Your Insurance Policy
The next step is to consult your insurance policy. There is a wealth of important information here. Turn to your Long-Form Policy to find information such as:
- Whether your policy provides Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost coverage;
- What your deductibles are;
- What your coverage limits are;
- What special limits might apply;
- What types of losses are covered under your policy.
Should You Get Help with Your Claim?
Part of the claims process involves working with an insurance adjuster. They will collect documents such as your Schedule of Loss (a complete list of all lost or damaged belongings) and receipts for Additional Living Expenses. They will also assess the cost to repair the structure of your property.
It’s important to know that they are paid by the insurance company and are not necessarily a neutral party. You can however hire an independent insurance adjuster or insurance lawyer to help advocate for you. They can negotiate when you feel like your claim has been undervalued by the insurer.
Should You File a Claim?
Is it worth your time (and the potential that your premiums will be increased) to file a claim? The first place to look to answer that question is your deductibles. Your deductible is how much money you have to spend to repair the loss before your insurance kicks in. If the amount of your claim is not significantly higher than the deductible, it may be wiser to accept the loss. However, in the event of major losses, this is what your insurance is there for.
Does Home Insurance Go Up After a Claim?
One of the biggest concerns that homeowners have is that their premiums will go up if they make a claim. Whether or how much your premiums will go updepends on the circumstances, and most importantly, the likelihood that they will happen again. For example, water damage and theft are seen as higher risks for repeat claims than wind storms or house fires.
In the event of a major loss, it always makes sense to make a claim. Get help from an independent insurance adjuster or lawyer to make sure the compensation you receive