Need to file a homeowners insurance Claim? Helpful tips
What to expect when filing a homeowners insurance claim: After a storm or an unforeseen accident, like a tree falling on your home, you want to make sure you know how to correctly deal with your homeowners insurance company. We are here to help you know what to expect and support you through the process. It can be an emotional time, especially if you have experienced major damage. Here are some tips to get you through it all.
Remember to take lots of pictures and videos. This can help your insurance adjuster know what needs replacing. To go above and beyond, you may even want a spreadsheet filled with information about your possessions: a description, when you purchased, where you purchased and the original value. If you have receipts, even better! Keep this information filed away in a fireproof, waterproof safe. Or, keep electronic copies somewhere you could always access them.
Please notify us so we can help through the process. Communication is KEY. This way they can walk you through the next steps:
Meet with an adjuster. Once your insurance agent files a claim, you will be assigned an adjuster. They’ll be your go-to person throughout the process. Please be aware that they may be VERY busy, especially after a major storm that has damaged many homes. So be patient and realize they may be busy when you try to call them. Yes, you will be able to turn to them for questions, information or reassurance, but remember they are most likely helping out many families. They’ll also be the one coming to assess the damage to your home, so a little kindness and patience goes a long way. Tip: Try not to clean before the adjuster sees the damage. It’s important they see how much damage has been done. However, if it needs to be cleaned to prevent even more damage, that’s what you should do. Just try to take a few photos, if possible.
Protect what’s left. Do what you can to save any undamaged items, but make sure you aren't putting yourself in any danger of downed power lines, etc.
Find a temporary home away from home. If the damage from a covered loss is too bad, and you can’t live in your home until it’s repaired, you can find somewhere to stay until your home is repaired. This could be a hotel, friends/relatives house, etc. The cost of a hotel is normally covered and in some cases they may partially cover your meals as well. Make sure to keep all of your receipts for your adjuster.
Submit a list of your damaged or destroyed items. Share the list, complete with the value of each item, with your adjuster. Having the damage in writing will give them a better idea what needs to be done and how much it’ll cost to do it. While they can easily see when a wall, floor or ceiling needs to be replaced, they might not notice all of the little items, and those can really add up. Make sure your adjuster knows about absolutely everything you lost.
Get an estimate for the total cost of repair and replacement. Your adjuster will help you get estimates to repair and replace what was damaged, and they’ll likely meet with a contractor who will work on your home. Then, you’ll get a formal estimate outlining how much money you have for repair and replacement, according to your policy.
Start the repair and replacement process. Once you’ve reached an agreement with your adjuster about the amount you’ll be receiving, the team working for you can start getting things back to normal. Whatever is necessary according to your estimate, they’ll rebuild, repair or replace. home insurance