How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim

How to file a homeowners claim | III

There are several unexpected and disastrous circumstances that you would never wish to happen to your home; these include someone getting injured in your home, storm damage, theft, and fire. But in the event they happen, you should be in a position to rely on your insurance company to reimburse you and get back to normal. When these unexpected events occur, you should file a claim with your homeowners insurance company. It’s advisable to take time and sit down with your agent to discuss your coverages; this makes you comfortable as you are aware that you are covered in the event of unfortunate occurrences. Having a session with your insurance agent will assist you in determining any important missing coverages and whether your limits are adequate. One of the common queries that homeowners ask is how much is homeowners insurance? While there is no one answer to this question as there are various factors that influence the cost, you can look out for reliable home insurance companies. Here you’ll get to know how the companies charge for their homeowner’s insurance policy.

The period you require to file a claim to homeowners insurance companies varies from state to state and company to company and also from policy to policy. Typically homeowners insurance companies require you to file a claim as promptly as possible after an occurrence of damage. If you have to file your claim, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the following claim filing process to help everything run smoothly.

Take pictures of the damage- you should document any damage happening to your home by taking pictures and videos. You will share the pictures and videos with your insurance company for further investigation.

Report your claim promptly- after discovering the damage, you should inform your insurance company as soon as possible. This will help your claim representative go through your claim and discuss whether the damages will be covered and the next steps to be taken.

Fill out the claims forms- your insurance company will send you the necessary claim forms for you to fill. When you get these forms, ensure to fill and return them before the deadline.

Document everything– in addition to taking pictures and recording everything showing the damage done to your home, save all receipts for costs incurred from the loss, including anything purchased to perform temporary repairs and any hotel expenses resulting from your home being inhabitable.

Most insurance companies allow you to file your claim online or call the number listed on your policy. Filing claims promptly helps reduce the chances of your claim being denied. Your insurer will send an insurance claims agent to evaluate the total cost of the damage and determine the cause. Their assessment will determine whether your insurance company will accept the responsibility and the amount to be compensated. For example, if the claims agent discovers the damage is a result of your fault, they will recommend the company to deny your claim. However, if you prove the damage is not a result of your negligence, they will inspect the damaged property, and you will be compensated according to your policy terms.

Claim for damage to your home
Structures in your home are covered under the dwelling coverage policy. Elements included in your dwelling policy vary based on the nature of the home you own, whether a standard home or condominium. However, for most homeowners insurance, their dwelling policy covers the home’s walls, floors, roof, foundation, attached structures, and built-in appliances, such as water heater or HVAC unit. For dwelling insurance claims, it is crucial to prevent further damages from occurring. For example, when you discover a minor leak, you should repair it to avoid causing more damage; otherwise, your insurance company will mark negligence as the cause that led to the extended damage and deny responsibility.

Filing a claim for damage to your personal belongings
If both your dwelling and personal belongings have been damaged, you will be required to file two separate claims for compensation even though your dwelling policy covers both. List all damaged belongings and submit the list to your insurance company. If the damage was limited to few items, your insurance company will only compensate you itemized losses. If all your property is destroyed, for example, by fire,  you will receive a lump sum payment as specified on your policy.

Filing a liability claim
If an accident that may lead to a lawsuit happens on your property, inform your insurance company immediately. For example, in case your neighbor is bitten by your dog and is injured, communicate this to your insurance company and make sure you state; your name and policy number, details of how the bite occurred, the time and place it happened, name and address of the injured person and description of injuries caused. You are also responsible for contacting your insurer as soon as you discover any lawsuit filed against you.

Additional living expenses (ALE) claims
Suppose a covered calamity such as a fire happens and makes your home uninhabitable. If that happens, you should file a claim to your insurer, and they will help you pay costs associated with temporary relocation. These costs may include moving costs, rent or hotel fees, and food costs.

In conclusion, many homeowners are not aware of how to go about filing a claim, but with this article, they have a clear guideline on how to go about it.