What do you do when you have to make a claim against your homeowners insurance?
Here are some quick tips:
- Notify your agent promptly (If you do not have an agent, call the 800 number for your insurance company).
- Take any necessary steps that you can safely take to protect your property from further damage, ie tarp your roof if it is going to rain into your house again.
- Take photographs of the damaged or destroyed items
- Gather any receipts, invoices, cancelled checks or other documentation you have to support the value of the damaged items. Remember, your credit card company may be able to help you with this.
- Get and read your insurance policy. If you do not have it, get it from your agent.
- Walk the adjuster through any damaged portions of your home, making sure to point out what areas were damaged. Take notes on what you show the adjuster in case something is missed later.
- Document all contact with the insurance company and the adjuster. Send any receipts or documents via certified mail, return receipt requested.
- Obtain independent estimates of the cost of repair or replacement. You do not have to use the insurance companies “preferred provider.”
- Do not hire an unlicensed contractor to complete repairs. Check all contractors through your state contractors board before you sign a contract.
Remember, you are entitled to have your home put back into its condition before the damage occurred. Follow these steps and the insurance company should pay your claim quickly and fairly.