In most cases, people maintain a homeowner's insurance policy with the hope that the worst will not happen. Thus, when an insured risk like fire or in-house flooding occurs, you may feel confused about the claims process. Consequently, it is vital to read through your insurance policy and ask the right questions when purchasing a homeowner's insurance cover. Here are some key pointers on what to do and expect during the claims process.
Document the Damage
Insurance claims involve substantiating the losses Thus, you must document all damages and losses involved. The best strategy is to take photos and videos of the damaged properties. Importantly, do not clean the premises before the adjuster comes to do an assessment. Broadly, it would help if you always kept an inventory of all your belongings in hard and soft copy. The inventory should detail the item, price, and place and date of purchase, including necessary receipts. Then you will submit the inventory of the property before and after the event for assessment of the losses.
Protect the Rest
Rationally, you should take steps to secure undamaged property. For instance, if the house flooded because of water leakages, remove the unaffected items after documenting the situation. Likewise, if there was a burglary, you can secure the house and keep receipts of the costs incurred. Such steps prevent further loss.
Report the Incident
All insurance companies provide a timeframe for reporting risk incidents. Thus, it is essential to notify the insurer within the defined duration to reduce the risk of claims rejection. Ideally, most insurance companies maintain an all-day call center for such reports. Subsequently, the insurance company will provide an adjuster to deal with your claim.
In some cases, the nature of the incident can necessitate you to vacate the property until repair work. In such cases, talk with your insurance company to organize temporary accommodation. The insurer should cover the cost of accommodation and meals until the repair work is complete.
Engagement with the Adjuster
The insurance company provides an adjuster to assess the loss and damage. You should submit a list of damaged or lost properties to the adjuster. Ensure that your list is comprehensive and factual. Typically, the adjuster will also visit the home to do a physical assessment. The evaluation involves calculating the extent of damage and determining the cost of the loss. Then the adjuster provides a formal estimate of the total cost of replacement and repairs. At times it helps to engage a public adjuster if you disagree with the valuation process.
Repair and Replacement
The last step in the claims process involves repairs and replacement of damaged and lost property. This step follows a formal agreement with the adjuster on the amount of the claim based on the assessment and your policy. Then the repairs or rebuilding team can move in for the work. Finally, you can get back to their home when the work is complete.
Understanding the homeowners' insurance claims process can reduce the confusion and anxiety of getting your policy benefits. Ensure that you follow the procedure to eliminate the likelihood of reduced, rejected, or delayed claims.
For more information, reach out to an insurance company that provides home insurance.