If something happens to your house, you might be a bit overwhelmed and panicked. You might dread the prospect of dealing with the home insurance claim, and you might not know what to do. That’s why we’ve put together this list of tips for handling your home insurance claim in easy to manage suggestions. Here we go!
How to handle a home insurance claim.
1. Be careful.
First things first – be careful. Your home may have sustained significant damage. It might not be safe to approach it or enter it, so you need to evaluate the situation, especially if you’re returning home to find your house in such a state. If necessary, get in touch with your local government authority to find out what to do and how to proceed safely. They can help you out.
2. See if there are power lines down.
If you notice that any power lines are down, call the utility company so that they’re aware of the problem. If there appears to be any standing water in the home or in the area, be extremely careful if power lines are also down. Electricity and water do not get along and could be dangerous.
3. Leave if you don’t feel safe.
If the home or area doesn’t feel safe, you can leave and get to a safe location. Exercise your best judgment and seek out safety if necessary.
4. Get in touch with the insurance company.
You’re going to have to contact your insurance company to let them know what happened. They can help you figure out how to proceed. When you speak with a claims representative, write down their name, contact information, and so on. Also, jot down a few notes about what you discussed with them. Find out what you need to do and what’s going to happen next. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions if what they’re telling you is unclear – it’s completely understandable if you’re a bit frazzled and need them to repeat things.
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5. Protect the home.
If it’s safe, protect the home from further damage. When you talk to the claims handler, they can probably tell you what you can do to protect your home.
6. Prepare a list of the items that were damaged.
This is where having a home inventory can be really helpful. You’re probably going to need to make a list of all the items that were damaged by the loss, so if you have an inventory already prepared this can go much more quickly.
7. Don’t move the damaged possessions.
Leave things in the house until a claims person has been out to inspect and look at the damage. Document the damage with photos or video if it’s safe to do so.
8. Gather receipts (if you can.)
If you have receipts for items that you can access, get those ready. They can help with the home insurance claim.
9. Save future receipts.
If you need to stay somewhere else because your home is not habitable due to a covered loss, save all of your receipts. Your insurance company might reimburse you for these “additional living expenses” that you incurred because you weren’t able to stay in your home.
10. Keep track of the documents the insurance company sends you.
Your insurance company is going to send you paperwork and documents to complete regarding your home insurance claim, most likely. Make sure that you fill these out and return them promptly. These do have a deadline, so pay attention to the date and get those turned around quickly.
11. Let your mortgage lender know what happened.
You’re also going to have to talk to your mortgage lender and tell them what happened. You can talk about contractors and such with them. They may want to inspect the contractor’s work before making a final payment.
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So, those are some tips for handling your insurance claim. It might seem overwhelming, but take things a day at a time and stay in touch with your insurance company. Remember, this is what the insurance company is there for – don’t be shy about contacting them with questions or concerns.
If you need home insurance quotes, we can help. Get in touch with our team by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.