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How to Make the Most of Your Home Insurance Claim

Home insurance reassures homeowners that they and their homes are protected from harsh weather and accidents. However, many don’t fully understand the extent to which their policies can provide help in the event of any damage. In fact, insurers often tend to underpay since policyholder’s don’t always know the ins and outs of insurance language. Further, paying less for claims does not fall only to individual adjusters who visit homes. Their companies often determine how to avoid paying for damages fully, if at all.

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Underpayment usually happens after emergencies like the weather caving in a roof or smashing windows. Often, homeowners just want it all fixed with the least amount of fuss. In fact, only about ten percent of all policyholders actively pursue a claim to ensure they receive the amount they deserve. However, there are a number of steps you can take to help make the most of your claim.

Review Policy Details

Don’t wait for an emergency to look at your policy. Many policies purposely use vague insurance lingo. But don’t give up if you don’t get it. If you have any doubt about your coverage, you should seek professional advice. You should also review your policy every once in a while to confirm that it still fits your needs and the coverage is all right.

Keep Photos for the Record

How to Make the Most of Your Home Insurance Claim

There has never been an easier time to keep a digital file of pictures and videos of your home. Keep these up to date, noting the current state of your home and belongings. It is worth keeping detailed records of any higher value items. This includes antiques or expensive electronics.

If a bad storm lies ahead, then take pictures of and note the condition of your home’s exterior. These records will provide your insurer with before and after proof, preventing them from saying any damage came from wear and tear. This way, they cannot get away with paying you less.

Fully Report Any Damage

In addition to taking photos of any damage, you could also hire an independent adjuster. These professionals can then report any damages without any bias.

Keep records and copies of all receipts and work estimates. This will help you prepare a full account of damaged items. Be sure to include items’ initial price, rough date of purchase and estimated replacement cost.

Quickly Repair Damages

How to Make the Most of Your Home Insurance Claim

Don’t wait for an adjuster’s visit to start on some temporary repairs. Fix leaking roofs or broken windows straight away to avoid further damage. This way, the insurer can’t just say some damage came from a lack of quick repair. Save all paperwork relating to repairs since the insurer will require copies before paying for the costs. These precautions will make it harder for insurers to dismiss a portion of your claim.

Clarify Details of Your Home Insurance Claim

If your insurer rejects a claim at first, don’t assume the policy doesn’t cover the claim’s item. Let’s say, for example, that they reject a claim for mold because the policy doesn’t cover mold. However, if the mold came from water damage, it may actually be valid. There may be some limits on amounts, but it is worth double checking.

Bottom Line

While many businesses look to cut costs, this sadly includes insurance companies as well. This means insurance companies will try harder to avoid fully paying paying on claims. Some insurers can treat their policyholders terribly in the event of a claim. If you sense some future problems, it helps to follow the above advice to be prepared.

Photo Credit: ©iStock.com/MachineHeadz, ©iStock.com/Manuel-F-O, ©iStock.com/Bogdanhoda

Thomas Hill
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