When your home is damaged, it can feel overwhelming. Knowing how to respond and what to expect can make the claims process easier. Here are some important steps to follow.
1. Report your claim
First, be sure to report your claim immediately. When calling, it’s best to have the policy number, named insured and a description of the damage readily available. This will help speed the process.
Ask for help if you have an emergency.
Some damage, like the kind caused by a bust waterline, requires emergency response. The faster you receive assistance, the less severe the damage will be. When every minute counts, don’t delay in getting help. Let your company know if you need emergency water removal services or any other emergency assistance when reporting your claim.
2. Take note of the damage and prevent further damage
Do what you can to prevent additional damage from occurring, if it is safe to do so. The reasonable expense you have is covered by your insurance policy as part of the claim
You may want to take pictures or video of the damage. Make a list of everything that is damaged or missing. Try to find receipts for those items.
The best thing to do is to have a home inventory, before you have a loss. You can go to www.knowyourstuff.org, this was put together by the Insurance Information Institute. Another great idea is to take pictures and or video of the inside and outside of your home and store them away from your home or online.
3. Meet with your claims adjuster
When your report your claim, an adjuster will be assigned to you and will contact you to schedule an appointment to come to you home to assess the damage if needed. Provide your adjuster will all documentation of the damage. Your adjuster will provide you with an estimate for repairing the damage shortly after your meeting. If you have any questions about the process, your adjuster can assist you.
4. Select the right professional to repair the damage to your home
Many companies have agreements with repair professionals, when this is the case you’re better off using that professional.
When choosing a professional make sure they are licenesed and insured – ask them for a certificate of insurance. If the professional doesn’t think the job can get done for the amount paid contact your adjuster – the adjuster may of missed something. Contact your adjuster he/she will most likely want to see the estimate the professional has given you.
5. How your claim will be paid
After the damage is assessed, an estimate for repairing the damage will be completed. Based on that estimate, payment will be issued (Minus the deductible). If there is a mortgage on your home, the check will be issued in your name and the mortgage lenders name. Call your lender and let them know you have a homeowners claim and ask them their procedure endorsing the claim check. If you have any questions concerning the timing or the amount of your check talk to your adjuster.
If you are having a hard time contacting the adjuster call us. If you have questions that the adjuster isn’t answering clearly, call us.