Filing a home insurance claim can be daunting. The reason that you have home insurance in the first place is to help you replace things that have been destroyed by factors outside of your control. It protects you from losses. Getting the insurance and paying the premiums is easy. Filing a home insurance claim and getting it approved can sometimes feel like another story.
When you’re filing a home insurance claim, it’s important that you keep a few things in mind to make sure that you get the payments that you need to rebuild what you’ve lost. Just because you fill out the paperwork doesn’t mean that the money will magically appear in your bank account. The claim could get denied, which is something that you don’t want to happen. If your claim is denied, you’re kind of back where you started.
To make sure that your claim isn’t denied, make sure that you keep the following tips in mind when you’re working through the filing process.
1. Be punctual.
Your insurance company wants to know about the disaster or loss ASAP. As soon as you’ve ensured your family’s safety, contact your insurance company so that you can start the claims process with them. There are parts of the process that give specific time limits, so you need to make sure that you know what all of these are so you don’t miss a deadline – think like a journalist. Reporting a claim quickly might also be included in your policy’s requirements, meaning that you’re, well, required to be quick about reporting what happened.
2. Remember that YOU’RE the one who has to prove the claim.
You need to show the insurance company that you have a valid claim that they need to pay out. In order to give your claim credibility, you have to document the damage and losses in detail. Photos are your friends! If you can get pictures of the damage, that will help your insurance company understand the situation. It’s important that have a detailed account of the damage to your property.
Also, your insurance company might send an adjuster out to take a look at what’s happening, and if they have any reason to doubt what you’re saying they might deny the claim. Likewise for when you’re applying for coverage.
3. Realize what your policy will and will not cover.
There are these things called exclusions that are included in policies. Exclusions are pretty much the list of things that your policy won’t cover—for example, home insurance policies typically don’t cover flooding. Earthquakes are another common exclusion. If you file a claim for something that’s excluded in your policy, it will be denied. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you get additional coverage to protect you from things that are left out of your policy. You need to understand your home insurance policy, or you might be caught off-guard. And no one likes that.
When the insurance company tells you why the claim was denied, make sure that you check on how they explained the loss. There might have been a misunderstanding because they didn’t identify the cause of the loss properly.
4. Do what you can to prevent any further damage to your home.
If something happens to your home, you need to step up and make sure that you protect your property from any additional damage – if it’s safe, of course. You need to prevent any extra loss or expense. If you don’t make an effort to reduce the costs of rebuilding your home, the insurance company won’t be impressed. This is usually one of your policy requirements, so it’s something that you’re obligated to do. If you don’t, the claim could be denied.
5. Pay the insurance company. Not paying the insurance company = Claim denied.
Say you haven’t been keeping up on your premiums. That’s grounds for the insurance company to deny the claim. You need to follow through on your agreement to pay if you want the insurance company to help you out when you’ve got a situation.
Of course, you never know when a disaster could strike, so make sure that you are consistently on time with your payments.
If you’re facing a home insurance claim, you’ve got enough on your mind. The last thing you need is for your claim to be denied or to have to argue your case. To make the claims process go as quickly as possible – and avoid having your claim denied – make sure that you understand your responsibilities as the insured. You need to uphold your end of the bargain for the insurance company to uphold theirs.
All of that being said, if you’re interested in getting a free quote for your home or auto insurance, fill out our quote form or give us a call today! Our agents are ready to help you out with any of your insurance needs.