Whether it's water damage from a burst pipe, roof damage from snow accumulation, or other damage, you need to learn how to file a home insurance claim.
However, a successful home insurance claim goes beyond simply filing a document. Knowing what to do can help you avoid a claim denial, ensuring you get full compensation for the necessary repairs.
Create a list of your belongings
Keeping a list of your possessions in advance can speed up the claims process and ensure you get paid in full. Create a list of items in each room, including their date of purchase, cost, where you purchased them, and other important details.
This will ensure you don't forget to include items when making a claim. Taking photos of each room, including the items, is another way to document your belongings.
Contact your insurance company
With insurance claims, delays can often result in denials. So, it's important to contact the insurance company immediately after damage to report a claim. This is the best time to learn what's covered under your home insurance policy and what’s not, and how long the claims process will last.
Document the damage
Take clear pictures or videos of the areas affected from as many angles as possible. In addition to close-up images, it's essential to take wide shots to highlight the extent of the damage.
With the visual evidence, you will be able to substantiate your claim and receive the full compensation. Remember to give a description of the damage.
Prevent further damage
Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage to your home and possessions. For example, If you have water damage from a burst pipe, you can cut the supply to the affected area.
Another reason to make temporary fixes is to prevent your insurer from denying claims on the grounds that you failed to maintain your property.
Get an estimate from your preferred contractor
Your insurance company will recommend contractors they prefer to work with. However, remember that the contractors are loyal to the insurance company and may underestimate the damage to save the insurer money. A contractor you trust will be able to give you an accurate estimate.
Get ready to deal with the adjuster
Your insurance company will assign an adjuster to assess the damage. Have the home inventory list, before and after photos, and videos of the damage ready.
Also, provide full details of the damage and other information requested by the adjuster. This will ensure they do not underestimate the repairs needed.
Keep records of your communication
From the time you contact your insurer and throughout the claims process, keep a record of your communication with the insurance company. Note the date and time of your conversations with the insurance adjuster assigned to you or other representatives of the insurer.
Keep all receipts
Keep all receipts of the expenses you incur related to the damage. For example, you may need to make temporary repairs to your home.
In cases of extreme damage, you may also have to move out of your home until it becomes habitable. Keep receipts of repairs, temporary accommodation, restaurants and other living expenses to ensure you receive reimbursement.
Contact your local NY home insurance agency today
If you have more questions about filing a successful home insurance claim, don't hesitate to call us. We can also review your existing policy and ensure it protects your home and belongings.