When there is damage done to a home through a fire or other disaster, many homeowners do not know what they need to do to file a claim. Here are the five steps to need to take when filing for your home insurance claim:
1. Call your Home Insurance Company
The first and most important thing to do when there is damage to your home is to call your home insurance agent. In order to submit your claim, the damage must be seen and reported as soon as possible before any repairs are done. Be sure to get yourself and your family to a safe location before taking this first step.
2. Take Pictures
Once again, make sure you are safe. If possible, take pictures of the damage done to your home from different angles to make sure all damage is seen. Also take pictures of what caused the damage to your home if applicable. The photos you take can be shared with your home insurance claims adjuster.
3. Keep your Receipts
If your home is too damaged to stay in, your family might have to go stay at a hotel. Be sure to keep the receipts from your hotel visit and any other purchases caused by your home damage. Some other purchases could include home improvement items used to protect the home damage to spread further. Your home insurance policy could provide coverage for these receipts.
4. Keep an Updated Directory
Having a personal property directory for your home is useful for many different situations, including home damage. When there is damage done to your home, it is likely that there will be damage to some personal property items as well. After the damage occurs, make sure you know what items were impacted or lost after the disaster. Having these items in an organized list with a couple details about them will help your home insurance provider get you the compensation you need. It is best not to wait until the disaster happens before making this list.
5. Make Sure your Settlement is Not Paid by Other Parties
When hiring a contractor to fix the damages on your home, sometimes they will want to receive the claims directly from your home insurance provider. This may seem like a good idea, but it is not recommended. What if the contractor would make repairs to your home, but not meet your needs? Then you are stuck with a repair job that is not satisfactory and the contractor is already paid. Make sure all of your claims go from your home insurance provider directly to you, so you can have more control when it comes to fixing your home.
While these steps may not make your home insurance claims process faster, it should make it easier for you and your agent. It never hurts to be ready for disasters to happen. Make sure you are ready and know the steps of how to file a claim the right way. For additional questions, talk to your agent or give us a call if you need more tips for filing a claim! As an independent insurance company, we work for you.
Information from Safeco Insurance.