The Insurance Claims Process
Depending on the depth of damage that occurred after an incident, whether that’s a natural disaster or theft, it will determine the complexity of an insurance claim. That being said, the more damage that’s occurred, the more work will have to go into the insurance claim. Check out Insurify’s guide to filing a home insurance claim.
Step One: Finding the Right Homeowners Insurance Policy
Before you file a home insurance claim though, and ideally before any accidents happen, ensuring you have sufficient homeowners insurance is a vital step in responsible homeownership. The last thing you’ll want to deal with after a disaster is realizing your insurance coverage is subpar or non-existent. To compare multiple quotes side by side, including special coverage options, add-ons, and policy options use Insurify.
Step Two: Document, Document, Document!
If damage has occurred from a weather-related or another disaster, the very first thing you’ll want to do, even before cleaning up any messes, is document the damage. Photographing and tracking any and all damage is absolutely vital to getting the most out of your home insurance claim. Insurance adjusters will not be able to cover you for damages on your personal property if they don’t fully understand the scope of the damage at the time of the accident.
Step Three: Time to File
Once you’ve assessed the aftermath of a storm or other disaster yourself and photographed the damage, it’s time to file. Before contacting your insurance company, familiarize yourself with your policy and its coverage levels and limitations. By knowing what your policy does and does not cover prior to your conversation with a claims adjuster, you’ll be demonstrating your familiarity with the policy, showing the insurance company that you’re not to be taken advantage of. Make sure you’re aware of your insurance company ’s unique claims process that should be outlined in your policy- it’s vital that you meet all deadlines and other contractual obligations to avoid any unnecessary hurdles during the claims process. If you have a reasonable understanding of your policy limits and coverages, you’ll be better prepared to defend the parts of your policy that may be up to the interpretation of an insurance adjuster. By the way, the documentation should continue through this process. Be sure to keep records of every phone call you have with insurance agents, including their name, title, the date, and the topics discussed. This could assist you if there are any discrepancies in the latter part of your claims process. Once you’ve presented documentation of all damages to your insurance claims adjuster, there may be some back and forth on negotiation for a proper settlement. If you feel the coverage your insurance company is offering you is not sufficient or does not adequately meet the limits of your policy, don’t hesitate to negotiate for the settlement you feel you deserve. Oftentimes, insurance companies will return with a counteroffer that better meets your expectations- remember, it never hurts to ask! It’s welcome and expected to n egotiate your total property insurance settlement offer.