Homeowners Insurance Claims, How to Maximize your Potential Reimbursement

By admin On January 9, 2012 Under home improvement, home services, restoration

Nowadays putting in a claim on your homeowners insurance can be fairly straight forward and easy. All it usually involves is getting ahold of your agent and completing a form and then waiting for the adjuster to come out and make their inspection.

It varies by state for the amount of time it takes the insurance adjuster to respond to your claim. There are prompt pay laws that are there to protect you if you feel your adjuster isn’t returning your calls or responding to your claim in a timely manner.

The claims process can be tricky, especially if you make a lot of claims. A lot of insurance companies will just cancel your policy if you make more than 2 or 3 claims a year. They are almost always risk based, and always scared off if they have to pay more than collect. Granted, you pay to have a homeowner’s policy to cover that type of loss and if it happens then it is the insurance company’s responsibility to repay you.
Follow these tips to maximize your potential reimbursement
• Put your claim in ASAP, call the hotline or fill out the online form as soon as you know there is a problem.
• Understand exactly what your policy covers, and what isn’t covered as well as what your deductibles are.
• Try not to say “lawyer”, if you decide to hire an attorney, the adjuster, insurance company and your agent will only be able to communicate with the lawyer.

• Get at least 2 or 3 repair estimates from local reputable companies.

It’s Ok to make temporary repairs to the damage on your house; you need to protect your home and keep your family warm and to protect them from further damage or injury. The insurance company should always cover these repairs. However, you should wait to make permanent repairs until you hear from your adjuster.

Always keep receipts and copies of the bills when you have your temporary repairs done so you can present them to the adjuster. I really can’t stress how important it is to document everything even down to the smallest detail. There are certain documents and receipts at the time you wouldn’t consider valuable but can really save you a lot of money in the long run.

If you have photos of your house pre and post claim those are great tools in your arsenal. They will help you to prove your household inventory and also establish a portfolio of your house hold belongings. You can download a home inventory form for free just by searching for it on the internet.

Get either a fire proof safe or a safety deposit box to keep documents that show what type of home as well as the records for any and all remodeling jobs and construction plans you may have. This will also save you a lot of money on the long run.
When you’re dealing with the adjuster always make sure that you keep your cool. Getting upset or being overly emotional will almost never help your case and probably just hurt in the long run. However don’t lie down if they deny you the higher payout. You can always appeal any decision that they make, recent statistics show that almost half of all appeals are decided in the customers favor.

If you’re still not satisfied by the outcome you can contact your local state regulator and or your insurance commissioner. They are there to help you the consumer.

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