A successful home insurance claim is one that covers the costs of recovery. You will have to pay your deductibles out of pocket, and depending on your coverage, the insurance may not pay for you to replace everything. However, you should still receive what’s laid out in your policy.
These tips should help you reduce the stress of dealing with your claim while doing what you can to get fair compensation.
#1 Start the Process Immediately
When you’ve experienced a loss, it doesn’t pay to wait. In fact, most insurance policies require you to contact the insurer as soon as possible after a loss. The only reason not to contact the insurer is if you don’t plan on filing a claim, for example, if the damage is not much more than the deductible.
Contact your insurer as soon as possible, then make sure you initiate the claim in writing.
#2 Keep Track of Your Communications
Once you’ve initiated the claim, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to the file. One of the most helpful bits of home insurance claims advice you can follow is to keep track of all your communications with the insurance adjuster. This includes:
- Taking notes about each conversation you have, especially any time the adjuster agrees to something.
- Recording conversations, which you should let the insurance adjuster know about.
- Saving emails.
- Making sure there’s a record of both face-to-face and phone conversations.
#3 Start with a Provisional Proof of Loss
Your Proof of Loss documents all of the damages that make up your claim. It can take a lot of time to complete, but insurers may pressure you to complete it before you’re ready.
A provisional Proof of Loss should be enough to get the process started. Eventually, you will have to sign off on a final version, but talk to the insurance adjuster about getting the process started with a document that you can add to later.
#4 Request a Cash Advance
Replacing all of your belongings and living somewhere other than your home can be very expensive. While people do their best to save an emergency fund, not everyone can, and even those who do may find them quickly depleted.
One of the best ways to deal with the financial blow is requesting a cash advance. A cash advance will be deducted from your total coverage, and you can use it right away. It’s ideal for Additional Living Expenses (i.e., hotel stays, takeout, storage costs, longer-term rental), but when you reach the stage where you can replace your belongings, you could also get a cash advance for undisputed costs while you wait to settle on the remainder.
#5 Work with an Insurance Lawyer
You don’t have to deal with an insurance claim all on your own. For major claims, look into hiring a lawyer who can help handle your claim and deal with the insurance adjuster.
Don’t assume that by hiring a lawyer, you’re getting ready for a dispute. Their goal is usually to negotiate a better deal with the insurance company while avoiding a legal dispute.